NLC suspends nationwide strike

 Five days after it embarked on a national strike on Wednesday last week against the Federal Government's increase of the pump price of petrol from N86 to N145 per litre, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has suspended the exercise.

The NLC which announced the suspension of the strike on Sunday, hinted that it was going ahead to resume negotiation with the Federal Government on the unresolved issues, which led to the industrial crisis.

NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, who announced the suspension of the strike after an emergency meeting of its National Executive Council (NEC) of the union in Abuja on Sunday, said the decision to call-off the strike was due to organised labour's resolve to commence negotiation with government on the twin issues of the hike in fuel pump price and electricity tariffs.

Wabba said: "After due consultation with its constituents, NEC resolved to suspend with immediate effect the action it commenced on Wednesday, May 18, 2016. The action is thus hereby suspended. Congress will resume negotiations with the government on the twin issues of the hike in electricity tariff and the pump price of petrol and any other issue that may arise thereof."

NLC said its protest was informed by what it called "the unjustified and illegal hike in electricity tariff and increase in the pump price of petroleum products," adding that the strike was a success in spite of both internal and external challenges.

While it urged the government to play by the rules in its engagement with its constituent parts, stakeholders and non-state actors as proof of its commitment to deepening "our democracy and also in acknowledgment of the well-worn credo that what goes around, comes around," Wabba insisted that the strike was taken in the best interest of the poor and the weak and to draw the government's attention to the dangers of relying on the importation of petroleum products.

Meanwhile, NLC expressed disappointment at the government's attitude and the brutality of the police in some states. It specifically lashed out at the Ebonyi State Police Command for intimidating, harassing, arresting and detaining unjustly its members during the strike.

The NLC leadership however commended its state councils, affiliates and other patriotic Nigerians who at a very short notice supported the struggle.
Labour also commended the leadership of the National Assembly and the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led by Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu for their mediatory roles while the strike lasted.

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