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Published On: Fri, Sep 28th, 2018

Minimum wage: Uneasy calm as strike continues nation wide

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From Mustapha Adamu Kano and Femi Oyelola Kaduna with agency report

Striking workers yesterday paralysed activities across states.
In the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, all the offices at the Federal Secretariat, Abuja were shut as most workers did not report for work.
Although some workers reported for work, but were seen sitting idly at the gates of the complexes in the secretariat.
However, when the secretariat complex was visited , it was observed that security was beefed up to avert any break down of law and order.
In lagos, reports indicate government offices, banks and public schools were on Thursday closed in Lagos State as the organised labour began its strike over delay by Federal Government in concluding negotiation on a new minimum wage.
The enforcement teams of the organised labour set out from Ikeja to the State Secretariat, Alausa, at 7:20 am and workers who arrived for work were being turned back.
The News Agency of Nigeria correspondents who went round the Lagos metropolis reported that the United Bank for Africa on Lagos-Ibadan express way and Wema Bank in Alimosho were closed.
NAN reports that the enforcement team of the Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions led by its President, Oyinkan Olasanoye prevented staff from gaining access to Stanbic IBTC Bank, Ikeja branch.
The ASSBIFI team stormed Polaris Bank (former Skye Bank) on Awolowo Way, Ikeja, as its gate was locked by the union, while workers and customers were prevented from accessing the premises.
Olasanoye said the enforcement was in compliance with the directive of the Trade Union Congress, which ASSBIFI was affiliated to.
However, Access Bank in Dopemu and First Bank in Iyana-Ipaja opened for business with many customers carrying out various transactions.
Also, fuel stations were seen attending to customers, while major roads, including Iyana-Ipaja to Ikeja and Ikorodu Road, were busy with the usual heavy traffic.
In Kano, most public offices were yesterday shutdown, however, the organized private and health institutions opened businesses.
A visit by our correspondent to some ministries within the Audu Bako Secretariat, it was observed that most of the offices were locked up, as only a few were seen opened by some civil servants.
Checks by correspondent indicated that, although government institutions had fully complied with the directive given by the NLC, many private organisations, especially schools and hospitals did not fully comply in the state.
Meanwhile, despite the depressed state of the textile industry, workers in Chellco Kaduna, UNT Lagos and other factories yesterday joined their counterparts in other parts of the country to observe the nationwide NLC strike action.
In a statement in Kaduna, the General Secretary of the Union, Comrade Issa Aremu expressed support for the warning strike by the organised labour and called on the federal government to urgently reconvene the meeting of the Tripartite National Minimum Wage Committee to enable it conclude its work.
It will be recalled that labour demanded N65,000 national minimum, up from the current N18,000.

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