Abia NLC suspends 3-day-old strike

NLC Fuel subsidy Labour Party Peter Obi

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Abia has called off the strike that began on Tuesday in order to advocate for better worker welfare.

Mr Chris Onyeka, the union’s National Assistant Secretary-General, announced the suspension on Friday following a meeting in Umuahia between the State Government, the NLC, and the Joint Public Service Negotiating Council (JPSNC).

Onyeka said: “The Abia Government has shown great responsibility and understanding in addressing the issues raised by NLC.

“Therefore, with this understanding and agreement reached, the NLC will immediately suspend the strike.

“We extend our hands of fellowship to Abia State for better and deeper industrial relationship and harmony.”

Onyeka urged the government to implement the agreement reached by both parties and also create better working conditions for Abia workers to boost productivity and make the state progressive.

He described dialogue as a way of resolving issues and conflict and charged Abia workers to remain committed to the development of the state.

He said that it was the responsibility of the union’s leadership to protect the interest of workers in the state.

The NLC chieftain commended the State Government for making efforts to meet the demands made by the union.

Also, Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu assured the workers that the State Government would live up to expectation by implementing the decisions reached at the meeting with the leadership of the union.

Ikpeazu, represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Chief Chris Ezem, charged Abia workers not to allow anybody to pitch them against the government but to continually give their best in their service to the state.

Ikpeazu said: “Abia Government remains a workers-friendly government that is conscious of its obligations.

“It is to that end that we have taken steps to engage the NLC and all affiliate unions concerned on issues affecting workers.

“I want to assure the workers in Abia and the leadership of various unions that government takes their welfare seriously and to that extent would equally take agreements reached very seriously.

“Following this agreement, we shall ensure that it is not business as usual.

“We shall do everything within our means to ensure these agreements reached are adhered to.”

In an interview with newsmen, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Eze Chikamnayo, commended the leadership of NLC at the state and national levels for suspending the industrial action.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that at the end of the meeting, a three-page Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the representatives of the state government and union.

Issues deliberated upon included payment of salary arrears, implementation of the N30,000 national minimum wage, remittance of check off dues to various unions and the implementation of CONHESS for local government health workers.

Others were payment of monthly pensions, gratuities and outstanding workers’ leave allowances.

The meeting was attended by the governor, represented by the SSG, the Commissioner for Finance, Dr Aham Uko, the Head of Service, Mr Onyii Wamah, and Chikamnayo.

Others from labour were Onyeka, the State Chairman of NLC, Mr Eze Idima, and a representative of JPSNC.

The organised labour had proceeded on an industrial action on Tuesday, following the inability of the state government to resolve issues between it and workers. (NAN)

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