Labour begins warning strike tomorrow
• Benue workers groan as FG recalls Paris Club refund
• Normalcy returns to LASUTH after 14-day strike
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the United Labour Congress (ULC) will begin a warning strike tomorrow to protest the suspension of minimum wage negotiations.
Labour had on September 12 issued a 14-day ultimatum to the government to recall the minimum wage committee to fix a new workers’ wage and conclude negotiations or face industrial action.
“This is to inform you that the organised labour shall commence nationwide warning strike in respect of the non-implementation of the national minimum wage, effective midnight of Wednesday, September 26, 2018,” said a statement by NLC general secretary, Dr. Peter Ozo-Esan. However, it was gathered that the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment might summon a meeting of the government’s team tomorrow morning. An enlarged meeting that would include labour movement and their allies might also hold same day at the ministry.
TUC Secretary General, Musa-Lawal Ozigi, called on state councils to form joint strike implementation committees, comprising the TUC, NLC and other stakeholders to ensure effectiveness. “A strike is hereby declared to commence from the early hours of Thursday, September 27, 2018,” he said.NLC president, Ayuba Wabba, recently expressed displeasure over comments allegedly made by Minister of Labour and Employment Chris Ngige. The minister had reportedly told the committee to adjourn indefinitely to give room for further consultations with the government on the new wage.
The Federal Government had also assured labour that the tripartite committee on the national minimum wage would conclude its negotiation before the expiration of the ultimatum. Ngige described the ultimatum as “a subtle blackmail” to stampede the tripartite committee.
The strike is coming as Benue State workers condemned the withdrawal of the second tranche of the London Paris Club refunds to the state. The workers had waited with huge expectation following the Federal Government’s release of the money. Their hopes were however dashed as the government ordered the recall of the $2.7 billion sum for Benue, Delta, Osun, Rivers and Imo states.
No reason was given for the action, which prompted the call for an emergency meeting by the Nigerian Governors’ Forum.The Benue State NLC chairman, Comrade Godwin Anya, condemned the government’s decision, describing it as meaningless. Normalcy, meanwhile, has returned to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) following the suspension of a 14-day strike by the Association of Resident Doctors (NARDs), the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
The association’s president, Dr. Salami Ajibade, said the 55 house officers employed by the Lagos State government would not be enough to attend to the large number of patients who patronise the hospital daily.
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