NLC President Speaks on Why Strike was Suspended


As Nigerians go about their normal activities and try to hide their frustration over the suspended strike action by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), the NLC president, Comrade Joe Ajaero speaks on why the strike action over the removal of petrol subsidy, disagreement on palliatives, among others was suspended.

The Organised Labour suspended the indefinite strike action, which was meant to commence Tuesday, October 3, and last for 30 days, following a memorandum of understanding signed with the Federal Government.

As a result of the suspension of the strike, the Labour Unions have been under heavy criticism, with many suggesting that the unions have been sold out to the federal government and are no longer fighting for the people.

Reacting to the development in an interview, Comrade Joe Ajaero said the Organised Labour agreed to suspend the planned indefinite strike as the FG met no less than 90% of their demands through negotiation.

According to him, the main aim of every negotiation is to reach an agreement, and an agreement was reached on the matter; hence, there was no need to proceed with the industrial action after getting 90% of their demands.

He said that the labour unions and FG have reached a reasonable conclusion on some of their demands, such as going for CNG as an alternative to petrol, meeting demands of tertiary institution workers, commencement of work at the Port Harcourt refinery, increase in the wages of workers, among others.

He said, “The essence of every negotiation is to reach an agreement that is enforceable and implementable. So when negotiations start, unless there is any stalemate, its whole essence is for an agreement. When we started, we had our demands, it’s not by force that demands must be met hundred percent. I know that we got ninety percent of our demands and there was nothing left for us than to sign an agreement. To negotiate without signing an agreement makes the agreement incomplete. So, that was it.

“We demanded for CNG as an alternative to petrol. We have plans towards attaining that because it can’t be achieved the following day or in one week. So, plans were laid down for it. We insisted that the refineries must work.

“We are aware the refineries won’t work the following day; plans were on ground for us to even go and inspect what’s happening in the Port-Harcourt refinery to make sure that it is completed and come into the stream by December. We asked for a wage award, the President offered N25,000 for the least-paid worker in Nigeria for just six months and we said no, we got it for every person across the board.”

















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