The Organised Labour in Nasarawa State has commenced an indefinite strike, today, 15th June 2021, over the partial implementation of N30, 000 minimum wage and other welfare-related issues.
The strike was declared in Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital, after the State Executive Council (SEC) meeting with the labour movement in the state.
Addressing journalists after the meeting, Nasarawa State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Yusuf Iya, said the action became imperative due to the failure of the government to meet their demands after two months ultimatum was served on it.
Accountant General of the State, Zakka Yakubu, had recently announced that the state had started the payment of the N30,000 minimum wage to workers on Levels 1 to 6.
The NLC Chairman mentioned other demands as reasons for the strike. These include the partial implementation of minimum wage without recourse to due process of collective bargaining, lack of implementation of promotions since 2008, lack of annual increments, lack of training, lack of confirmation of appointments of casual workers, many of whom have been working for more than 10 years, as well as other demands.
He further said the government had failed to give priority in addressing most of the problems, even though most of these problems had lingered for a long time. “We have given the present administration more than two years of grace to address our challenges, but the government has been paying lip service to the issue”.
According to him, the strike was originally planned to commence on the 7th of June 2021, had been suspended for two weeks with the intervention of traditional rulers. However, the government still did not show any seriousness with meeting their demands, even with the intervention. He said they were therefore left with no other option than to commence the strike.
The NLC Chairman described the implications of minimum wage for workers on grade levels 1 to 6 in the state as a mirage.
The State Chairman of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Mohammed Doma, also said it was unfortunate that the State government could not respect the traditional rulers, despite their intervention by doing the needful to meet their demands.
Story: Ene Ken-Yawe