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Cablegate: Nigeria: National Labor Strike - Sitrep #5

VZCZCXRO5102
OO RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHUJA #1342 1761452
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 251452Z JUN 07
FM AMEMBASSY ABUJA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0015
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RUEHWR/AMEMBASSY WARSAW 0399
RUEHCD/AMCONSUL CIUDAD JUAREZ 0400
RUEHOS/AMCONSUL LAGOS 7231
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

UNCLAS ABUJA 001342

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR DRL, AF/W
PLEASE PASS USTR FOR AGAMA
DOL FOR SUDHA DALEY
DOE FOR CAROLYN GAY
DOC FOR 3317/ITA/OA/KBURRESS
TREASURY FOR DAN PETERS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV ELAB PREL PHUM ENRG ASEC NI
SUBJECT: NIGERIA: NATIONAL LABOR STRIKE - SITREP #5

REF: A. ABUJA 1326

B. ABUJA 1319
C. ABUJA 1317
D. ABUJA 1303
E. ABUJA 1302
F. ABUJA 1294
G. ABUJA 1278
H. ABUJA 1155

THIS MESSAGE IS SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED. NOT FOR INTERNET
DISTRIBUTION.

1. (SBU) Labor unions and the GON reached agreement late on
June 23 (Day Four of the strike), with the strike officially
ending at midnight that night. The agreement followed a
reported intervention by President Yar'adua. In public
statements immediately following the announcement of an
agreement, Yar'adua said he hopes to establish a relationship
of engagement "based on trust and respect, good faith and
honesty of purpose" between the unions and the GON. He also
commended the police and security agencies for their
professionalism during the strike.

2. (SBU) According to National Labour Congress (NLC) General
Secretary John Odah, the impasse was broken when the unions

SIPDIS
agreed to accept the GON offer of 70 Naira per liter for gas
and the GON agreed to not increase the price for one year.
The final agreement consisted of the following items:
-- Gas price of 70 Naira per liter, with a promise to not
raise the price for one year
-- Reversal of the recent VAT hike, reducing VAT from 10
percent to five percent
-- Agreement to form a committee with representatives of the
GON and the unions to review the sale of the Port Harcourt
and Kaduna refineries and other oil sector sales
-- Agreement to form a committee with representatives of the
GON and the unions to review future petroleum price
increases. (COMMENT: It is not yet clear whether this is a
commitment to use the existing Petroleum Products Pricing
Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) structure or to form a new
committee. END COMMENT.)

3. (SBU) As of June 25, fuel lines in Abuja and the
surrounding suburbs had decreased significantly. In Lagos,
traffic has returned to near normal levels as of June 25 and
gas stations that were closed during the strike are
reportedly beginning to receive fuel. Prices of gas across
the country were reportedly reduced to the agreed-upon 70
Naira per liter. International air travel was never
significantly disrupted and domestic air travel was
reportedly back on schedule as of mid-afternoon June 24.

4. (SBU) Post is working on an analysis of the political
impact of the strike and resulting agreement, which will
follow septel.
CAMPBELL

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