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Workers begin nationwide strike

Festus Osifo | File Image

Labour’s meeting with NASS fails to resolve dispute

By Valentine Amanze

Nigeria’s Organised Labour has carried out its threat of embacking on a nationwide strike if the federal government failed to meet its demand on minimum wage.

It kicked off the indefinite strike on Monday June 3, 2024, following the failure of a four-hour meeting with the leadership of the National Assembly (NASS) to resolve the crisis on Sunday June 2, 2024 in Abuja.

The President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Festus Osifo, disclosed this after the meeting on Sunday.

His words: “For now, we don’t have the power to call off the strike, tomorrow (Monday) morning, the strike will kick-off as we take their (NASS) plea asking us to call off the strike to our various organs.”

Also read: NLC strike intensifies in Niger, govt seeks fresh dialogue

Osifo, and his counterpart in the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Joe Ajaero, met with Senate President Godswill Akpabio and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas. in Abuja.

The meeting was part of last-minute efforts by the legislators to persuade aggrieved workers to shelve their planned industrial action for a new minimum wage.

 The National Assembly said the meeting was to “avert the impending industrial action” to commence on Monday, June 3, 2024, “which would have severe repercussions on the populace and economy”.

The decision of the Organised Labour followed the deadlock between the Federal Government and the unions over a new national minimum wage and reversal of the recent hike in electricity tariffs.

The Chairmen of the Senate and House Committees on Labour, Employment and Productivity respectively, Diket Plang, and Adegboyega Adefarati, were also at the meeting.

The labour unions had said the current minimum wage of ₦30,000 coul no longer cater to the wellbeing of an average Nigerian worker, lamenting that not all governors are paying the current wage award which expired in April 2024, five years after the Minimum Wage Act of 2019 was signed by former President Muhammadu Buhari.

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