Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Labour unions of Nigeria suspend indefinite strike

Nigeria's biggest labour federations on Monday said they were suspending an indefinite strike that was set to begin on Tuesday after last minute talks with President Bola Tinubu's government, which had warned that the action could damage the economy.

Tinubu is under pressure to ease economic hardships after he scrapped a decades-old petrol subsidy and allowed the naira currency to depreciate, leading to soaring prices in Africa's biggest economy and major oil producer.

The government agreed a temporary wage increase for government workers, a three-month income subsidy for 15 million poor households and a pause in a value-added tax on diesel, among several concessions to prevent the strike.

In return, unions will suspend the strike for 30 days while negotiations continue, including on a new minimum wage for all Nigerian workers.

"After 30 days if these issues are not implemented ... it will show bad faith on the side of government," Joe Ajaero, the leader of Nigeria Labour Congress, the country's largest federation, told reporters.

By Felix Onuah, Reuters

Related story: Nigerian government offers wage rise to state workers as strike looms

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