Labour Leaders Engage in High-Stakes Talks, Insist Strike Cannot Be Called Off Yet

By Ajibola Olaide, JKNMedia Reporter

A CRITICAL closed-door meeting with labour leaders and government representatives is reported to have been convened at the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF).

It’s subsequent to the nationwide indefinite strike initiated by organized Labour over the Federal Government’s refusal to meet their minimum wage demands.

According to sources, “We are here at the SGF office, awaiting the government representatives for today’s meeting.”

At the time of reporting, specific government representatives attending the meeting had not been disclosed.

The strike, which began at midnight on June 2, 2024, has led to significant disruptions, including the shutdown of various workplaces as unions adhere to the directive from the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC).

The strike was announced after the government failed to increase the proposed minimum wage from N60,000.

NLC President Joe Ajaero and TUC President Festus Osifo expressed deep dissatisfaction with the government’s inability to finalize and enact a new National Minimum Wage Act.

Negotiations between Labour and the FG collapsed last Tuesday when the government proposed a revised offer of N60,000, up from its initial N57,000. Labour, in turn, adjusted their demand slightly from N497,000 to N494,000, but this reduction did not bridge the gap between the two parties.

During a previous meeting in Abuja on Sunday, convened by the National Assembly leadership, Labour leaders explained why the strike could not be called off immediately.

The meeting included Senate President Godswill Akpabio, various ministers, and the Head of Service, Folasade Yemi-Esan.

TUC President Osifo responded to the Senate’s appeal to call off the strike, stating, “We cannot unilaterally call off the strike without consulting our members. We need to report back to our people and consider their stance.”

The strike action has already had significant impacts, with notable disruptions at institutions such as the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), where only emergency services are being maintained. Labour unions remain firm in their stance, insisting on meaningful wage increases to address the cost of living and economic pressures faced by workers across the country, expressing its hopes that with ongoing negotiations, hopes for a resolution that balances the needs of workers with the economic realities facing the nation would be reached.

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