Labour Enforces Shut Down Of Gov’t Offices, Banks In Abuja

Labour Enforces Shut Down Of Gov't Offices, Banks In Abuja

Members of different affiliates of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) on Monday morning shut down the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation including other public sector offices in Abuja city centre to enforce the nationwide strike.

LEADERSHIP correspondent who visited the busy Head of Service complex which has some ministries, reports that at around 9:00am, unionists mounting the main entrance of the Phase 2 were preventing workers from accessing the office.

One of the enforcement team leaders, who is also the Joint Union President of the Head of Service Unit of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, Comrade Ahmed Sylvester Abba told LEADERSHIP that the level of compliance with the strike was encouraging.

The union leader also insisted that the federal government must pay the workers living wages that reflect the current rising cost of living.

He said, “You can go around the gates and see that all the gates are locked, and all of us are together in this. What we are demanding is simple, with one voice. Give us a living wage.

“All Nigerians are united on this fight, It is not a fight for labour unions alone. It is a fight for you people, even the oppressed people.

“That the voices of Nigeria for once is united to fight this cause and we believe that we have a responsive government that will look into the plight of Nigerians and make sure this indefinite strike is being cut short.

“We are trusting God that before the end of today or before the end of tomorrow, we will have a proper result and a living wage that will applaud and compliment every effort of the present government”, he added.

Also, the federal secretariat, Ministry of Finance where all shut down, while banks along the Ralph Shodiende Street, Central Business District were not operating as the labour team blocked entrances to their office.

Construction workers in hundreds were also stranded as the labour’s enforcement team prevented them from accessing a site near Pascal Bafy’au House, the headquarters of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC ).

LEADERSHIP had reported that despite earlier pleas from the federal government and the National Assembly leadership for consideration, the organised labour on Monday withdrew their services in a nationwide strike to push for a new national minimum wage for workers.l and reversal of the recent hike in electricity tariffs.

The industrial action comes after a series of unsuccessful negotiations involving both the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) and federal government representatives at the tripartite committee meetings on the new minimum wage.

Negotiations, however, broke down on Friday last week after the government earlier in the week offered a marginal increase of N3,000 to the N57,000 offer it had earlier made to come up with a N60,000 minimum wage proposal, a figure deemed unsatisfactory by Labour representatives.

With the Monday strike, the labour aims to put pressure on the government into offering a higher minimum wage.

Both congresses are also insisting on N494,000 as minimum wage, which they consider adequate to reflect the current rising cost of living.

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