Organized Labour Unions suspend nationwide workers’ strike

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The Nigeria’s organised labour – the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) – has suspended its nationwide strike, which began on Tuesday.

The Joint National Executive Council of the two leading labour unions which declared the strike announced the suspension of the industrial action at the end of a meeting Wednesday evening.

The development came a few hours after the labour leaders listed six demands and subsequently met with the National Security Adviser (NSA), Nuhu Ribadu.

The meeting was held at the instance of Mr Ribadu, who earlier in a statement on Wednesday appealed to the labour unions to call off the strike to give room for negotiations.

The NLC, TUC and their affiliates had declared the strike against the background of the attack on the NLC president, Joe Ajaero, in Owerri, the Imo State capital, on 1 November.

The unions accused the Imo State government and the police in the state of sponsoring thugs and giving them a cover to brutalise Mr Ajaero.

The NLC president was attacked and brutalised while preparing to lead a protest against the Imo State government over alleged non-payment of civil servants’ salaries for months and inhumane treatment of some government workers in the state.

In their demand list which they released Wednesday, the labour unions demanded that justice be done with respect to Mr Ajaero’s attack for the strike to be called off.

Among their six requests were demands for investigation, prosecution and dismissal of government and police officials involved in the attack on Mr Ajaero.

Speaking with journalists after the meeting with the NSA on Wednesday, TUC president, Festus Osifo, said the federal government, through Mr Ribadu, had given assurance to meet their demands.

The labour unions in a joint statement on Wednesday signed by the NLC, General Secretary, Emmanuel Ugboaja, and the TUC, General Secretary, Nuhu Toro, said: “This suspension is intended to facilitate further discussions after the federal government had met our crucial demands to address the distressing abduction and brutalization of the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Joe Ajaero, and others.

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