NLC and TUC Suspend Nationwide Strike Following MoU with Federal Government

In a significant turn of events, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) have decided to postpone their planned indefinite nationwide strike, initially slated to commence on October 3, 2023. 

The suspension will be in effect for a duration of 30 days. This decision comes following a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) reached between the Organised Labour and the Federal Government of Nigeria at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Monday night.

The strike notice was issued by the NLC and TUC in response to the Federal Government's removal of the subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), commonly known as petrol, which subsequently led to an increase in fuel prices.

Key highlights of the MoU include:

1. Commitment from the Federal Government to implement a wage award of N35,000 for all Federal Government workers, commencing from September until a new national minimum wage is formally established.

2. The establishment of a minimum wage committee within one month from the date of the agreement.

3. A temporary suspension of Value Added Tax (VAT) collection on Diesel for a duration of six months, starting in October 2023.

4. Allocation of N100 billion for the provision of high-capacity Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses for mass transit, alongside CNG conversion kits and stations across the nation, with plans to begin implementation by November.

5. Implementation of various tax incentives for the private sector and the general public.

6. Commitment to resolving leadership disputes within the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and addressing concerns related to the purported proscription of the Road Transport Employers’ Association of Nigeria (RTEAN).

7. Referral of pending salary and wage matters of tertiary education workers in federal-owned educational institutions to the Ministry of Labour and Employment for further negotiations.

8. Initiation of a monthly payment of N25,000 for three months, commencing in October 2023, to 15 million households, including vulnerable pensioners.

9. Expansion of initiatives to subsidize the distribution of fertilizers to farmers nationwide.

10. Encouragement of state governments, local governments, and the private sector to implement wage awards for their workers.

11. Commitment to provide financial support for Micro and Small Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) with a focus on creating decent employment opportunities.

12. A joint visitation to the country's refineries to assess their progress in terms of rehabilitation.

Additionally, all parties involved have pledged to adhere to the principles of social dialogue in future engagements. The MoU will be officially submitted to the relevant Court of competent jurisdiction by the Federal Government within one week.

Signatories of the MoU included NLC President Joe Ajaero, NLC General Secretary Emmanuel Ugboaja, TUC President Festus Osifo, and TUC Secretary Nuhu A. Toro, representing Organised Labour. On the Federal Government's side, signatories included the Minister of Labour Simon Lalong, Minister of State for Labour Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, and Minister of Information Mohammed Idris.

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