ABUJA, Nigeria — The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) have temporarily suspended their nationwide strike, which commenced on November 14, 2023.
This decision, announced on the night of November 15, 2023, follows a critical intervention by National Security Adviser Nuhu Ribadu.
Reasons for the Strike
The strike was primarily called due to two major issues:
- Alleged Brutalization of Joe Ajaero: The NLC President was reportedly mistreated in Imo State on November 1, sparking widespread outrage among union members.
- Unmet Government Agreements: The unions were protesting the government’s failure to honor agreements made on October 2, 2023, concerning various labor issues.
Catalyst for the Suspension
The suspension of the strike was influenced by several key factors:
- Government Intervention: An important meeting with Nuhu Ribadu, the National Security Adviser, played a major role.
- Arrest Announcement: Ribadu informed the union leaders that those responsible for the alleged brutalization of Ajaero had been arrested, addressing one of the primary triggers for the strike.
- Continued Dialogue: The meeting, which also included Minister of Labour Simon Lalong, opened channels for further negotiation, suggesting a willingness on the government’s part to engage with and address the unions’ concerns.
Union Leaders’ Stance
Tommy Etim, National Deputy Vice-President of the TUC, confirmed the suspension of the strike. He cited the unions’ trust in Ribadu’s assurances and the positive steps taken by the government as reasons for this decision.
With the strike now suspended, attention turns to the government’s next steps in addressing the unions’ demands and ensuring such conflicts are avoided in the future.
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