Nigeria’s labour unions suspend indefinite strike

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Nigeria’s biggest labour federations on Monday said they were suspending an indefinite strike that was set to begin on Tuesday after last-minute talks with President Bola Tinubu’s government, which had warned that the action could damage the economy.

Tinubu is under pressure to ease economic hardships after he scrapped a decades-old petrol subsidy and allowed the naira currency to depreciate, leading to soaring prices in Africa‘s biggest economy and major oil producer.

The government agreed to a temporary wage increase for government workers, a three-month income subsidy for 15 million poor households and a pause in a value-added tax on diesel, among several concessions to prevent the strike.

In return, unions will suspend the strike for 30 days while negotiations continue, including a new minimum wage for all Nigerian workers.

“After 30 days if these issues are not implemented … it will show bad faith on the side of government,” Joe Ajaero, the leader of Nigeria Labour Congress, the country’s largest federation, told reporters.