Strike: Akpabio, Abbas In Last-Minute Talks With Labour

The leadership of the National Assembly, on Sunday evening, arrived at a meeting with the leadership of the Organised Labour in Abuja as part of last-minute efforts to persuade aggrieved workers to shelve their planned industrial action for a new minimum wage.

The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Joe Ajaero; and his Trade Union Congress (TUC) counterpart, Festus Osifo; are at the meeting with Senate President Godswill Akpabio and Speaker of the House of Representatives Tajudeen Abbas. in Abuja.

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, are also at the meeting.

The labour unions had said the current minimum wage of ₦30,000 can 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. The Act should be reviewed every five years to meet up with contemporary economic demands of workers.

Labour later handed the Federal Government a May 31 deadline for the a new minimum wage. On May 31, the workers’ organs in the country declared a nationwide strike beginning from Monday, June 3, 2024 over the government committee’s inability to agree on a new minimum wage and reversal of electricity tariff hike.

During the failed talks with the government, Labour rejected three government’s offers, the latest being N60,000. Both the TUC and the NLC subsequently pulled out of negotiations, insisting on ₦497,000 as the new minimum wage.

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