The Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress have commenced an indefinite strike in Nasarawa State over the partial implementation of N30,000 minimum wage and other welfare-related issues.
The state Accountant General, Zakka Yakubu, had recently announced that the state government has commenced the implementation of the N30,000 minimum wage to only workers from levels 1 to 6.
In reaction to the announcement, the organised labour declared strike yesterday in Lafia, the state capital, after a meeting with the State Executive Council (SEC).
Addressing journalists after the meeting, Nasarawa State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Yusuf Iya, said the action became imperative due to the failure of the government to meet their demands after two months ultimatum was served on it.
The NLC chairman listed other demands to include partial implementation of minimum wage without recourse to due process of collective bargaining and lack of implementation of promotions since 2008.
Others were lack of annual increments, lack of training, lack of confirmation of appointments of casual workers, some of whom have been working for more than 10 years, among others.
Iya said some of the problems lingered for a long period of time, “but the government has failed to give priority in addressing them.
“We have given the present administration more than two years grace to address our challenges, but the government has been paying lip service to the issue.
“The strike was supposed to have commenced since June 7, but was delayed due to intervention by the traditional rulers in the state.
“Even with the intervention, the government was still not serious in meeting our demands. Therefore, we have no other option than to speak the language they understand better.”
He described the implications of minimum wage for workers in grade levels 1to 6 in the state as a mirage.
The state Chairman of Trade Union Congress (TUC), Mohammed Doma, also said it was unfortunate that the state government could not respect the traditional rulers despite their intervention by doing the needful to meet their demands.