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JUST IN: Labour suspends strike for five days

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JUST IN: Labour suspends strike for five days

The Organised Labour on Tuesday, suspended its nationwide strike for five days to allow uninterrupted meetings with the tripartite committee on new national minimum wage.

Vanguard quoted a top source among the labour union leaders to have disclosed this on the condition of anonymity.

The development comes in the wake of new resolutions regarding the minimum wage during a meeting between labour leaders and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), George Akume, with other government officials on Monday night.

During the meeting, Akume confirmed that President Bola Tinubu’s administration is committed to paying more than N60,000 as the minimum wage.

He also assured that no worker would face repercussions for participating in the strike and that the tripartite committee would convene daily for the next week to finalize the new minimum wage.

Following the scheduled 10 a.m. meeting with the FG Tripartite Committee today (Tuesday), Labour decided to suspend the strike. Consequently, all government and private offices are expected to reopen and operate as usual.

Labour not fixated on a figure

Meanwhile, speaking during an appearance on Arise TV on Tuesday, Benson Upah, Head of Department of Information NLC, disclosed that Organised Labour is not fixated on a figure but would consider a fair and reasonable figure that can take a family of six home.

“We are not fixated on any figure; our first offer was N615,000, but we climbed down, and we’re now on N494,000. Let me be emphatic; our fixation is with value,” he said.

“If today the government takes the needed decisions to create value around the naira, we’ll be ready to take a figure that is realistic.

“In 1981, the national minimum wage was N125, equivalent to $188. If the government takes the requisite decision to create value around the naira, we’ll be ready to take a figure that is fair and square.”

Speaking further, he stated that President Bola Tinubu, since assuming office, has made decisions that have affected the country’s economy.

“The first is the ill-advised removal of fuel subsidy rather than dealing with the criminal content of the subsidy. The president admitted to the presence and existence of a cabal, and rather than deal with that, he instead chose to deal with Nigerians,” he said.

“The second one is the mindless devaluation of the naira, which took it from N350 to N1900 and it’s now hovering around N1600; the third is the tariff hike; and the fourth is the 26.5 per cent interest rate. When you look at this, it becomes highly toxic for business.”

The NLC spokesperson responded to comments made by Bayo Onanuga, Special Adviser to President Bola Tinubu on Information and Strategy, stating that the union has no political sentiment.

He said, “As we speak now, we’re the only reliable voice that can speak to power at the risk of our lives. We’ve been consistent from pre-independence to the military and democratic eras. This is not the first time we’ve taken on a government. Right from 1999, the presidency of Obasanjo; then Yar’adua; and Jonathan, but Onanuga didn’t see political sentiment.

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“I want to assure you that we’ve no political sentiment. Our sentiments in this matter are pure, patriotic, and in the interest of this country,” he added.

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