Presidency summons labour leaders over strike

FILE: Minister of Education, Professor Adamu Adamu (left); Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr. Chris Ngige; President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba; Deputy President, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Professor Victor Osoduko and President ASUU, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi
FILE: Minister of Education, Professor Adamu Adamu (left); Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr. Chris Ngige; President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba; Deputy President, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Professor Victor Osoduko and President ASUU, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi

The Presidency on Thursday in Abuja summoned the leadership of the organised labour to an emergency meeting with a view to ending the ongoing nationwide industrial action.

NAN reports that the Chief of Staff to the President, Malam Abba Kyari, presided over the closed door meeting.

The organised labour was led by the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba.

The NLC had on Wednesday directed all its members and affiliate unions to commence a nationwide strike on Thursday following alleged failure, of the Federal Government to reconvene the meeting of the tripartite national minimum wage committee to enable it to conclude its assignment.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige had on Wednesday in Abuja also met with the organised labour and the meeting ended in a deadlock.

The minister, however, told newsmen that the tripartite committee on national minimum wage would resume negotiations on October 4.

He said: “We are resuming precisely on Thursday, October 4, and the meeting can spill over to October 5. All the processes have been put in place and labour leaders know.

“They are now expected to communicate such to their organs. So we don’t have any need for a strike.’’

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However, while fielding questions from State House correspondents after the closed door meeting, the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, said the presidency wanted to know reasons for the industrial action.

“We want to know what led to this strike, there is no position of government.

“All what we want to understand is why they have to go to strike and they told me it is the process of arriving to a figure that got stalled,’’ he said.

On his part, the NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, stated that they shared information with the Chief of Staff on the issues that led to the commencement of the industrial action by the organised labour.

He revealed that the leadership of the organized labour would soon meet and deliberate on the issues discussed at the meeting with a view to call off the strike, and resume negotiation on the National Minimum Wage which was stalled.

“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.

“The government has given us their words which we will also go and communicate to our members and revert back to our members.

“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,’’ he said.

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