Nigerian unions suspend strike for two days

AFP , Friday 13 Jan 2012

Nigerian unions temporarily suspend national strike for 2 days to allow protesters to resupply, prepare for fresh labour actions


Nigerian unions announced on Friday that a national strike over fuel prices that has paralysed the country for five days would be suspended over the weekend.

"The labour movement and its civil-society allies, after nationwide consultations, has decided that this weekend ... will be observed as strike, protest and rally-free days," said a statement jointly issued by the country's two umbrella unions.

The strike has locked down Africa's most populous country and seen tens of thousands pour onto the streets for rallies against the removal of fuel subsidies that have more than doubled pump prices.

The suspension of the strike was intended to allow protestors to restock on food and ready for more protests should scheduled weekend talks with the government fail to yield a deal.

The output of Africa's top exporter has so far not been affected, but oil workers have threatened to halt production starting on Sunday if the government fails to restore fuel subsidies.

Talks between the unions and President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday ended without a deal.

Union leaders said they had asked Jonathan to "suspend the new petrol price increases" in return for an immediate suspension of strikes, but the government proposed that new fuel prices be negotiated.

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