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NASS, FG, Labour, Conclude Four-Hour Meeting, Strike Yet To Be Called Off

Organised Labour representatives at the end of a meeting with the National Assembly, the Federal Government said they could not call off its strike on their own.

President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Mr Festus Osifo said both parties were aware of what the issues were.

He said the leadership of the Union did not have the power to call off the strike, saying that there were processes involved in the suspension of an industrial action.

“We have listened to them, we will take the request of the National Assembly leadership to our organs, because we don’t have the power to call off the strike.

“The power to call off strikes lies with our organs, who would sit to decide.”

Meanwhile, the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio has urged the Federal Government to continue the payment of the N35,000 wage award to workers, following the yet-to-be-concluded negotiations on minimum wage.

Akpabio said this at the end of a four-hour closed-door meeting with the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the Trade Union Congress (TUC), and some Ministers over planned industrial action by the union.

Akpabio also appealed to the union to shelve the proposed strike action in the interest of Nigerians and the nation.

“We have been making appeal and asked the NLC and TUC to shelve the proposed strike and return to the negotiating table to resolve the issue.

“I appeal that the strike be suspended for negotiations to continue in the interest of Nigerians and the nation.”

Minister of Information and National Orientation, Alhaji Mohammed Idris, said that the government’s position on the wage award was that it should continue the payment until the negotiations for the minimum wage is concluded.

“The position of Government is that the Federal Government will continue to pay its workers the wage award of N35,000 that was started in Oct 2023 until a new wage regime is instituted.”

He said he was optimistic that labour would suspend the proposed strike, following the lengthy conversation with the leadership of the National Assembly, organised labour, and the federal government delegation.

He said that Nigeria could not afford to strike at this moment given the challenges faced by the economy.

Idris said all hands must be on deck to ensure the prosperity of the nation as a strike was not the best option at this point.

“And we have pleaded with labour to see reasons with the Federal Government and everybody while the strike cannot continue in the interest of every body.”

The minister said that the government was sensitive to the demand for labour and called on the unions to see reasons to heed to the request of the government.

He said that Nigeria could not afford the payment of N9.5 trillion additional financial burden based on labour’s demand of N494,000 demand made by labour as minimum wage for workers.

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