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Labour Under Pressure to Call Off Strike on Monday

The organised labour may have been subdued to revert the earlier strick action embarked upon last Thursday by Monday to allow worker return back to their various offices. A top government official who did not want to be named said this followed talks between Federal Government officials and labour leaders at the weekend. He disclosed that organised labour might announce the suspension of the strike on Monday ahead of the tripartite committee meeting scheduled to hold on October 4.

It was gathered that labour leaders, which insisted on guarantees that Thursday’s meeting will be used to strike a deal on the new minimum wage, were prevailed upon to soft-pedal to allow the committee to conclude action on the matter.

The decision to call off the strike might not be unconnected with the intervention of the Presidency on Thursday through the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, who tried to persuade labour leaders to end the strike.

At the meeting of the chief of staff with the leadership of the organised labour on Thursday at the State House, Abuja, the Presidency pleaded with labour to end the strike, which has affected economic activities in different parts of the country.

After the meeting, President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba, told journalists that the meeting was fruitful. Wabba promised that the meeting’s outcome would be tabled before relevant organs of the organised labour to determine the next line of action.

According to him, the federal government, through the chief of staff, had made a promise to the group that their agitations would be addressed. However, Wabba failed to disclose the nature of the promise made by Kyari.

“The Chief of Staff tried to give us details of government position which we will have to go and convey to our members and then we can revert back to him,” Wabba had said.

But on Friday, Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in a statement, said the federal government was working assiduously to ensure the strike was called off.

“The Presidency wishes to assure that the federal government is taking every step necessary to get the unions to call off the strike,” Shehu said.

He said the organised labour had accepted the federal government’s demand to reconvene the tripartite committee meeting on the proposed new national minimum wage.

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