ULC calls off strike, settles for negotiation

The United Labour Congress has called off its three-day-old strike following a meeting with the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, in Abuja on Wednesday.

Announcing the decision to journalists, the President, ULC, Joe Ajaero, said the union would negotiate with the Federal Government and seek ways of reaching an agreement on its demands, which included official recognition by the government.

The ULC was formed after Ajaero broke away with 23 unions following a dispute over the outcome of the elections into the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress in 2015.

Others demands by the union include a review of the privatisation of the defunct power industry and the setting up of a task force by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment to inspect factories across the country.

The union is also demanding the withdrawal of soldiers and police officers from the work places of its members.

Ajaero said, “The major reason for the strike was the refusal of the government to recognise the ULC. Even the resident doctors have not told us who registered them, let alone over 12 registered industrial unions, which have indicated interest to be part of the ULC and met all the conditions.

“And the law permits you to do that within three months and you have not done it. We have told you two or three conditions, like the issue of putting us in the committee for the negotiation of the minimum wage was quickly addressed even before the strike.

“And like we mentioned to you, the issue of ASUU has naturally been taken care of. There are four or five conditions that are still pending, which we intend to go into by next week.”

Ngige explained that the meeting reached a consensus on some of the union’s demands, noting that many of the issues had been resolved before the negotiation.

“Issue of salaries shortfall has been addressed; ASUU has called off (its strike) and we are left with few issues to resolve,” the minister stated.

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