Strike: Akpabio, Abass hold emergency meeting with Labour

In a frantic effort to avert the indefinite strike action declared by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and its affiliate bodies starting tomorrow, Monday, June 3, 2024, the leadership of the National Assembly, led by the President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Tajudeen Abbas, is currently in a closed-door meeting with labour leaders and several ministers at the Senate Wing of the National Assembly.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator George Akume, the Minister of Finance, Wale Edun, the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Alhaji Mohammed Idris Malagi, and several other ministers are also attending the emergency meeting.

Labour representatives have emphasized that they welcome negotiations for a “survival wage” rather than a “starvation wage” for workers. Akpabio has cautioned labour leaders to be mindful of possible “collateral damage” that could lead to massive job losses. These statements were made just before the parties entered the closed-door meeting.

The National Assembly had earlier indicated that it would engage organized labour as part of efforts to avert the industrial action set to commence on Monday. This decision to intervene follows a deadlock between the federal government and the labour unions regarding the new national minimum wage and the recent hike in electricity tariffs. The National Assembly stressed that both parties have tenable reasons for their respective positions.

A statement issued Sunday and jointly signed by the spokesperson of the Senate, Senator Yemi Adaramodu, and the spokesperson of the House, Akin Rotimi, revealed that the President of the Senate, Senator Godswill Akpabio, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Abbas Tajudeen, are taking proactive steps to mediate and avert the impending industrial action.

The legislative arm expressed the opinion that the strike action would have severe repercussions on the populace and the economy.

It said: “The National Assembly acknowledges the announcement by organized labour, including the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), to commence an indefinite strike action from Monday, June 3, 2024, nationwide.

“In view of this, the National Assembly leadership and the chairmen of the Senate and House Committees on Labour, Employment and Productivity, respectively, Senator Diket Plang, and Rep. Adegboyega Adefarati, are looking to engage both parties in constructive dialogue and explore a variety of solutions in addressing the issues at hand.”

The statement added that the 10th National Assembly is committed to ensuring that the interests of all parties are fairly represented.

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