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Strike Continue; Labour Cripples Business Activities... Presidency Summons Leaders

The Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, on Thursday met some labour leaders at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, to try and resolve the issues that led to the ongoing warning strike by workers.

Labour unions, had on Wednesday directed workers to go on strike over the failure of the Federal Government to reconvene the tripartite committee on the new minimum wage. 

The workers are demanding between N45,000 to N65,000 minimum wage. Currently, N18,000 is the minimum wage in the country.

Kyari said on Thursday that he called the meeting to ascertain what stalled the negotiation on minimum wage.

He said his interaction with the labour leaders showed that “it is the process of arriving at figure (for minimum wage) that got stalled.”

The National President of the NLC, Ayuba Wabba, who led the delegation, said the outcome of the meeting would be taken to the relevant organs of the union.

He said, “The Chief of Staff tried to give us detail of government’s position which we will convey to our members; then we can revert to him.

“I think we have shared the details on the issue of the National Minimum Wage and how the ongoing negotiation was stalled and the best way to get out of it. Government officials have given us their words which we will communicate to our members and revert to government.”

On when the strike will be suspended, he said, “The strike, as you are aware, was called by a larger organ. We must get their mandate before we can make any pronouncement on the strike. We are here on representative capacity, even as leaders.

“As we get out of here, we will put our heads together and try to see how to get our organs informed.”

Kyari had, at the brief meeting, assured the labour leaders comprising executives of the NLC, Trade Union Congress, and the United Labour Congress that talks on the minimum wage would be reopened.

The level of compliance with the nationwide strike ordered on Thursday by the organised labour differed across the country.

While in many states, the strike paralysed federal and state secretariats as civil servants complied with the labour leaders’ directive, some banks and other businesses attended to customers.