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Strike: Commercial activities grounded in Osun, as ex-NLC president Sunmonu backs action

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Commercial activities were grounded in Osun on Monday in compliance with the ongoing nationwide strike embarked upon by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC).

Commercial banks closed their operations in Osogbo, the state capital to comply with the directive of the TUC and NLC.

Apart from the banks, public schools, and government offices were under lock and key. Though, drivers of the intercity buses, popularly called Korope who had earlier threatened to joined retraced their steps.

It would be recalled that the Labour Unions are demanding that the present N30,000 minimum wage be jacked up to N494,000 in line with the current economic realities of the nation.

Cross monitoring by newsmen in Osogbo, Osun State capital, reports that the State Secretariat, Assembly, Banks, Public Schools and Courts and other Government Offices across the State were under lock and key.

Speaking during an interview with newsmen in Osogbo, the former President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, From 1978 to 1984, Comrade Hassan Sunmonu emphasized the need for Government at all levels to reduce the cost of governance by 50 per cent to improve the nation’s economy and to make life bearable for the masses.

Comrade Sunmonu said the government is not sincere with the plight of the Nigerian workers and Nigerians considering the various policies made in the past, therefore, political office holders should also make sacrifice for the nation by reducing thier allowances.

He pointed out that if the Federal Government refuses to review the Price of Petroleum Products downward and stop over taxing the common men, labour should not accept anything less than N100,000 as minimum wage.

Also speaking, the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees, NULGE, and the Chairman, Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN), Osun State Chapter, Doctor Kehinde Ogungbamigbe and Alhaji Adekunle Adesina, respectively, described civil servants as the engine room of National Development, hence the need to prioritize their welfare.

Responding on the recent statement credited to the Senator President, Godswill Akphabio that the increase in minimum wage to the benchmark Labour Unions are requesting would led to high unemployment rate, the Labour Leaders frowned at the statement stressing that the nation possessed the natural resources required to take of its work force.

Ogungbamigbe said: “The purpose of today’s shutdown is the fact that the Federal Government has decided or refused to listen to the agitations of the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, and the Trade Union Congress, TUC, on the this new minimum wage”.

The chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Osun Chapter, Mr Christopher Arapasopo, in his own remarks, said the directive was for all workers to stay at home and away from their offices.

Arapasopo said there would be no form of protest or rally, as the instruction was just for workers to stay in their homes.

He disclosed that a monitoring and enforcement committee had been set up to go round to ensure that the directive was fully complied with.

“There is total compliance. Our people are outside the gate of the Government Secretariat. I just want to urge them to at home and remain calm pending the time we would get another directive from the national headquarters,” he said.

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