HeadlineBREAKING: Labour Insists On Nationwide Strike After NASS Meeting

BREAKING: Labour Insists On Nationwide Strike After NASS Meeting

June 3, (THEWILL)- Organised labour has remained adamant to proceed with its planned nationwide strike, despite calls from the leadership of the National Assembly to suspend the action and resume negotiations over the minimum wage.

THEWILL reports that in last minutes efforts to avert the strike, the leadership of the National Assembly and representatives of the Federal Government, on Sunday evening, met with the leadership of the organised labour

The meeting was convened by both the leadership of the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Recall that following a breakdown of negotiations over the new national minimum wage, Organised Labour, on Friday, declared an indefinite nationwide strike, starting on Monday. 

At the meeting on Sunday evening, the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, cautioned labour against a National Minimum Wage of N494,000, noting that it would force many private companies to sack workers if implemented.

While giving assurances that the federal government and the leadership of both chambers of the National Assembly will look into the demands of labour, Akpabio appealed to Organised Labour to halt the strike and allow room for negotiation.

“But we must also be mindful of collateral damage. I don’t want us to; in the course of trying to arrive at minimum wage, we end up with a lot of serious issues of unemployment because as soon as we arrive at the minimum wage, we will expect the private sector to also adhere and then if they are unable to do so, the next thing will be a detachment of workers.

“That was the reason we felt we should meet immediately. Of course,  this is a major step in the right direction.

“Like you said, all of us are workers, we also have workers in our home, and our children are also workers whether we have done, whatever agreement we have made will be mutually beneficial to all, the government and the workers.

“So, we are all concerned. We are in the same shoes, we are wearing the same shoes, and we will be very glad to have something that is workable”, he said.

Also, Reps Speaker, Tajudeen Abbas, while commending the unions for honouring their invitation, emphasised the need for strong collaboration among all the parties and arrived at a reasonable figure that would be acceptable as a minimum wage.

While President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Joe Ajaero, said at the meeting that demands of labour was in the interest of Nigerian workers, his TUC counterpart, Comrade Festus Osifo, lamented the current living conditions, saying it is unbearable for Nigerian workers.

Osifo, who noted that the situation of the country has been “tough” since the beginning of the administration of President Bola Tinubu, said many Nigerians cannot afford public transportation and other necessities.

Emphasising that its decision stands despite last-minute efforts to prevent the strike, the labour unions said they will meet and discuss the appeal made by the leadership of the National Assembly in need to suspend the proposed strike and allow for more dialogue with its organs before taking a decision.

Those at the meeting, in addition to the leadership of the national Assembly include the minister of information and national orientation, Muhammed Idris; Minister of state for Agriculture and food security, Sabi Abdullahi; Minister of finance and coordinating minister of economy, Wale Edun; Minister of budget and national planning, Atiku Bagudu; minister of labour and  Productivity, Nkiruka Onyejeocha; SGF George Akume; Head of service of the federation, Mrs Folashade Esan and other principal officers of both the Senate and House of representatives

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