Nationwide Strike Continues as Presidency, Labour Disagree
The nationwide warning strike embarked on by organised labour continues today (Friday) in spite of the intervention of the presidency, which met with leaders of the striking workers at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The Chief of Staff to the President, Mr. Abba Kyari, had on Thursday met with Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) President, Mr. Ayuba Wabba, and his team to work out a truce that would see the workers suspend the strike and return to work while negotiations resumed on Thursday as proposed by the federal government.
During the meeting, Kyari was reported to have said that the federal government is yet to take a decisive position on the ongoing nationwide industrial action, adding that the purpose of the meeting is to understand what led to the strike.
According to Mr Kyari, what led to the strike was not the figure of the minimum wage but the process to arrive at the figure, which was stuck.
“The purpose of this meeting is to know what led to the strike. It is the process of arriving that figure that got stalled,” ThisDay quoted him as saying.
In his response, Wabba said the federal government made a promise to the unions but did not disclose the nature of the promise made by Mr Kyari.
He said, “The Chief of Staff tried to give us detail of government position which we will have to go and convey to our members and then we can revert back to him.
“This is how far we have gone but clearly I think we have tried to share details of the information that pertain to the issue of the national minimum wage and how the ongoing negotiation was stalled and also the best way to get out of it.
“Government has given us their words which we will also go and communicate to our members and revert back to government.
“The strike as you are aware is called by a larger organ until we get their mandate before we can make any pronouncement on the strike.
“All the discussion we have had, we will communicate to our members and therefore it is the outcome of our meeting with our members that we will also communicate to government.”
“We will try to do that very shortly as soon as possible. As we get out of here we put our heads together and try to see how to get our organs informed.”
But a member of the delegation disclosed at the background that the strike would continue despite pleas from Kyari that it should be called off, saying the government had enough time to avert the strike but failed.
“The Chief of Staff was begging us to call off the strike but it is not possible now. If we do it, our members will lynch us.”
A last ditch effort by the federal government to avert the strike ended in a stalemate on Wednesday.
The workers are demanding a new minimum wage of about N50, 000 instead of the current national minimum wage of N18, 000.
- Normal everyday human uniquely different in an everyday manner, a young man that strongly believes in the African project. I'm a mixture of science, arts and politics. I can be engaged on twitter @Africanbingblog