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Ayuba Wabba

Relief for airlines, others as Organised Labour suspends strike

ORGANIZED Labour, has called of today’s strike after it has reached an agreement to be made known later today with the Federal Government’s tripartite committee

This is as airlines have heaved a sigh of relief over the suspension of the strike, following the massive financial impact the strike would have caused.

Already, airlines on the eve of the suspended strike have already started informing their passengers of measures that would be used to pacify them, as the impending strike built up to a crescendo.

Some airlines were already rescheduling and reroute passengers flights for free, while many others were waiting to see how the meetings which lasted late into the night pan out before they took the action of contacting and some refunding passengers.

However, that is now put on hold as services have resumed as at when due, Media Manager of Dana Air, Kingsley Ezenwa said all their early flights have departed and they are back on schedule.

Organised labour yesterday suspended the nationwide industrial action slated to begin today, Tuesday November 6.

Labour had threatened to commence a nationwide strike today should government fail to accede to its N30, 000 minimum wage demand.

The federal government had offered to pay N24, 000, some states like Kano had offered to pay N30, 000 while others agreed to pay N22, 500.

The suspension of the strike was announced by the president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Mr. Ayuba Wabba on Monday night after a prolonged meeting of the tripartite committee set up to come up with the new minimum wage

Addressing the media, Ayuba said: “The tripartite negotiating committee this evening concluded its assignment. Agreement has been reached and also documents have been signed. The report will be submitted to Mr. President tomorrow by 4:15pm.

“Therefore, as organised labour, we want to use this medium to thank all the tripartite partners for their understanding and importantly for concluding this very national assignment.

“And having reached this position, and also the fact that the assignment has been concluded, organised labour also decided that the proposed industrial action is hereby suspended.

“Therefore, we thought this should be communicated appropriately without also any delusion or missing information.

“As mutual agreements have been reached and this will be made public tomorrow and we must appreciate the roles that organised private sectors have actually demonstrated and the attitude brought to this process and to members of the tripartite negotiating team.”

However, the NLC president refused to disclose the figure of the new minimum wage arrived at by the committee.

He said the figure would only be made public after the committee’s report would have been presented to President Muhammadu Buhari by 4.15pm on Tuesday adding that only one figure would be presented to the President.

For her part, the chairman of the committee, Ms. Amma Pepple, expressed delight that their assignment had been concluded.

“I am happy to report to you that we have concluded our assignment and we will submit our report to the President by 4.15pm on Tuesday.

“We will reveal the figure at the presentation,” she said.

After the first meeting on Monday, Pepple had stated:

“We have concluded and we have a little challenge with what we call Chapter 5 of our report, that is where we have the numbers and the figures we used for the negotiations and the figures that we concluded with and the committee has two figures: the N24, 000 suggested by the federal government and the N30, 000 given by the organized labour.

“We have finished and we have signed it but we are insisting that the strike must be called off. There are still two figures, N24, 000 and N34, 000. You know that labour came up with a figure of N66, 500 but when we put all that together with the figure we got from the states…so, we put all that in a basket plus the initial figure that the federal government recommended which was N20, 700. We put them together in a basket and came up with four scenarios, we worked with one of the scenarios and that was how we agreed on that N24, 000 and N30, 000 respectively.”

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