Cablegate: Lasco Calls Off Strike

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.




E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: Abuja 99

1. On January 21, shortly after the Labor and Civil Society
Coalition (LASCO) began a nationwide strike to protest GON
policies pertaining to petroleum pricing, NLC President
Adams Oshiomhole made an official announcement to suspend
the strike. The announcement came before labor and civil
society groups were scheduled to meet in Lagos to develop a
strategy in preparation for a prolonged battle with the GON.

2. Motajo Abdul Kareem, Assistant Secretary for the
National Union of Air Transport Employees, told Labspec that
LASCO made the decision to ensure that the organization
complies with a "request" from the Federal Appeals Court
(reftel). While the court made no definitive ruling on
January 20 regarding a GON appeal contesting the NLC's right
to strike, both parties were ordered to return to court on
January 26 to argue their cases. In the meantime, the court
"advised" the GON to discontinue a 1.50 Naira per liter levy
on imported fuel charged to oil marketers. In turn, the
court "advised" the NLC to suspend its strike pending a
final ruling on the GON appeal.

3. Several hours before Oshiomhole's announcement, NLC
Deputy President Joseph Akinlaja told Laboff that LASCO
would only suspend the strike when lower prices resulting
from the discontinued levy are reflected at the pump. The
NLC now fears that moving forward would be in violation of
the Federal Appeals Court "request," thus damaging its
position when it returns to court for further argument on
January 26.


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