By Tunde Osho
Workers in the nation’s food and beverage sector called-off their strike on Wednesday following an intervention by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment to mediate between the warring groups.
The strike, which began on Monday when members of the Food, Beverage and Tobacco Senior Staff Association (FOBTOB) downed their tools to protest their inability to reach a new collective agreement on wages and other fringe benefits with the employer’s association, the Association of Food, Beverage and Tobacco Employers (AFBTE). Members of FOBTOB were seeking among other things an upward review of their salaries by 20% instead of the 14% agreed to by AFBTE.
In a statement released by the General Secretary of FOBTOB announcing the suspension of the strike action, Solomon Iji said: “This is to inform you that our indefinite strike which commenced on Monday 11th December, 2017 at 12:00 am is with immediate effect suspended. This is to allow both FOBTOB and AFBTE to go back and negotiate in good faith after the conciliatory meeting held under the auspices of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment.
Both warring groups agreed that no employee shall be victimized for participating in the strike action.
The principle of “no work, no pay” will not be applied against the employees’ negotiations between FOBTOB and AFBTE; that negotiations should conclude between 14th – 17th December, 2017. Failure to agree would result in FOBTOB and AFBTE returning to the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment by Monday December 18, 2017.”