Nigeria’s two largest worker unions were poised to strike to work out a deal to increase the minimum wage to cover rising inflation costs, but that strike was ended after one day.
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) originally had plans to hold a “warning strike” to last three days. After shutting down activities in schools, offices and hospitals in major cities of Nigeria, government officials held a late night meeting on Tuesday to come to a resolution.
The NLC and UTC represent millions of people who work as civil servants, medic, bank workers, air & road transport workers and employees in the oil and gas industries. Needless to say a prolonged strike would shut Nigeria down for the length of the strike.
President Goodluck Jonathan hopes to have a deal in place to keep his country running, and the results of those meetings will be released later on this afternoon.
Both the NLC and the TUC want minimum wage more than doubled from 7,500 naira to 18,000 to cover the rising cost of living in Africa’s most populated nation. Food and transport prices have been leading the way in increases as double-digit rises have occurred.
Union leaders claim the government assured them the minimum wage would be raised, but such a raise has not happened – prompting the strike.
In a show of support, workers from the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) were also on strike. Power supplies weren’t affected by their strike, but the showing of solidarity was definitely present as they are helping millions of workers get the fair treatment many feel is deserved.