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Fuel strike to be suspended as talks continue

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-01-13

Nigerian unions said Friday that they would suspend a nationwide strike over the end of fuel subsidies for the weekend. Negotiations with the government will resume on Saturday amid union threats to shut down the country’s oil output.

AFP - 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 led to pump prices more than doubling.

The suspension of the strike was 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 does not restore the fuel subsidies.

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

The union leaders said they asked Jonathan to "suspend the new petrol price increases" in return for an immediate calling off of the strikes, but government proposed new fuel prices be negotiated.

Date created : 2012-01-13


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