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Ogun Workers Commence Strike Over Minimum Wage

Workers in Ogun State have commenced a one-week warning strike, over the failure of the government to implement the new minimum wage.

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Emmanuel Bankole, the state chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), declared this after a three-hour closed-door meeting held between the leadership of organised labour and government officials ended in deadlock.

The workers had given the state government a 14-day ultimatum to commence the payment of new minimum wage, failure of which they vowed to embark on strike.

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The ultimatum expires today Wednesday.

The workers had earlier on Tuesday, stormed the governor’s office in Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, to protest against the failure of the government to begin payment of the new minimum wage, pension reform bill, among others.

The leadership of the organised labour, which comprises the NLC, Trade Union Congress (TUC) and Joint Negotiating Council (JNC), later went into a closed-door meeting with the government.

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Addressing journalists after the meeting, Bankole said the meeting between the labour and government ended in a deadlock, and they have decided to embark on a one-week strike.

According to him, their demands include the abolition of the pension reform bill, payment of gratuities, payment of an outstanding six years leave allowances, three years promotion and 134 months unpaid pension.

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“Unfortunately the negotiation ended in a deadlock. And so the one-week warning strike will commence 12 midnight tomorrow (Wednesday).

“With the facts before us, Ogun state is not the poorest in South-West. So, we are saying no, all their excuses are unacceptable to us.

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“The position of the government is unacceptable to us. What they said was that minimum wage will have to be delayed so that they can do certain things and we said no, enough is enough,” he said.

Reacting to the development, Special Adviser to governor Dapo Abiodun on Public Affairs, Remmy Hazzan, expressed shock over the warning strike.

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Hazzan admitted that the organised labour has legitimate demands, but the financial status of the state makes it incapable to implement the minimum wage.

He, however, said the government will continue to engage the workers, in order to resolve the issue, to avoid plunging the state into industrial disharmony.

About Oluwafemi Ashaolu

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