Workers across major federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) as well as the National Assembly and Judiciary embarked on indefinite strikes in compliance with the directive of Organized Labour to press home the demand for a living wage.

Recall that the conciliatory meeting with the Federal Government delegation and Organized Labour held at the instance of the leadership of the National Assembly on Sunday night was deadlock as the aggrieved workers vowed not to suspend the proposed strike.

Our Correspondent who monitored the strike observed that the major entrances leading to the National Assembly complex and National Industrial Court (NIC) were shut down by the protesting workers.

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In a joint statement issued by Spokesmen of both the Senate, Senator Yemi Adaramodu and House of Representatives, Hon. Akin Rotimi, argued that the mediatory meeting,” ended on a positive note.

“At the meeting, stakeholders noting that the position of Organised Labour is valid given the general economic situation in the country, agreed on the need for ongoing negotiation to continue, allowing for continuous engagement on the issue of wages,” the duo affirmed.

In his remarks, the President of the Senate cautioned, “While addressing the legitimate concerns of Organised Labour is imperative, we must be mindful that an unsustainable wage increase could trigger inflationary pressures and potentially lead to layoffs. Our approach must balance the need for fair wages with the overall economic stability of the nation.”

Consequently, Organised Labour gave the National Assembly leadership eight weeks to engage with stakeholders from the Executive. The Labour Leaders, however, declined to call off the nationwide strike action immediately as they requested more time to consult their respective National Executive Councils (NEC), and organs, in adherence to the Constitution of their Unions.

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Abbas Tajudeen, PhD, remarked: “I am sure some would recall what I said during the Independence Anniversary lecture, that one thing that this government and this country can do to eliminate corruption, in the long run, is to embrace a ‘living wage.’ There are no two ways about it. But we should also be mindful that the issues of numerous decades cannot be repaired within one day. It will be a gradual process.”

According to the National Spokesmen, other resolutions were reached at the meeting; the Federal Government committed to the immediate implementation of all previous agreements with Labour as authorised by the President. These agreements include the recent Wage Award announced by President Bola Tinubu and the bonus implemented by the Government as negotiated by the previous Administration (Amounting to N72,000).

“Government further committed to expediting the ongoing nationwide roll-out of conversion to LNG-operated vehicles and address all challenges relating to the supply chain to bring immediate succour on transportation to Nigerian workers.

“The leadership of the National Assembly was asked to engage and brief the President on the position of Labour and the need to consider a marginal increase in the interim, to accommodate the position of Labour.

“Organised Labour were also charged to deepen advocacy with State Governments and organised private sector to ensure viability and sustainability of the anticipated minimum wage increase,” the statement read.

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