NiMet labour unions suspend strike as Reps panel mediate 

Labour Unions in the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) have  suspended their planned strike following the successful intervention of the House of  Representatives Committee on Aviation and Technology. 

The unions had earlier scheduled to begin the strike on Monday, 20th May, 2024.

However, following an agreement and resolution reached Sunday, 19th May, 2024, during a special session convened by the House Committee on Aviation and Technology which held until Monday night, chairman of the committee, Hon. Abiodun Akinlade Ishaq, announced that the strike has been suspended.

He read the communique to suspend the planned strike at the end of about nine hours meeting, adding that within a period four weeks, the issues raised by NiMet labour unions will be resolved and their outstanding areas paid. 

“Today, 19th May, 2024, the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation Technology met with labour union and management team of Nigerian Metrological Agency, Abuja, led by its director general, Professor Charles Anosike, to discuss the proposed industrial strike by the NiMET staff on the failure of government to pay 45 months areas of minimum wage consequential adjustment. 

“After more than 8 hours meeting, deliberation, discussion, the following resolutions were reached: That NiMET will by tomorrow, Monday 20th set up a committee on the review of conditions of service of NiMET staff. This committee will draw two members from the labour union. 

“Two, that the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation Technology will set up sub-committee  to be chaired by the deputy chairman, House Committee on Technology, to liase with the Ministry of Finance, Budget Office, IPPIS and other relevant agencies to ensure the prompt payment of areas of NiMeT staff.

“Three, that the NiMeT staff salary scales be reviewed by the National Income Salary and Wages Commission. 

“That within four weeks of this meeting, this matter will be resolved with the payment of the outstanding areas to the NiMET staff. That NiMeT staff should suspend planned strike action for now pending the payment of the areas between now and four weeks, and that the labour union has agreed to work in harmonies with the DG and management of NiMeT in carrying out their day- to- day activities. 

“That this committee thanks the management of the NiMeT for all the efforts they have taken to ensure that the welfare of NiMeT staff are taken care of.

“This committee appreciates the efforts of the various unions that have been part of this meeting for over 9 hours. So, we thank you all, God bless you,” he said.

In his response, secretary general, Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE), Sikiru Waheed, who spoke on behalf of other unions at the meeting such as ANAP, NUATE and SSASGOG thanked the committee for intervening.

He said: “Nobody is interested in disturbing the peace at the working place if the right things are done. This issue has lingered for about four years now. And honestly speaking, Nimet workers have been one of the very patient staffs among Nigerians workers.

“The union wants better condition of service. Our condition of service is outdated and obsolete. As a result of this, the union wants committee to be set up immediately to discuss the issues of condition of service of NiMET workers,” he stated.

The director general of NiMeT, Professor Charles Anosike, appreciated the committee chairman and members for preventing the planned strike. He said the management is doing its best to ensure the payment of the outstanding areas of the NiMET staff, adding that the importance of the workforce cannot be over emphasised.