NO RETREAT NO SURRENDER : Labour shuns parley with Federal Government.
Representatives of the organised labour on Sunday shunned a meeting called by the Federal Government as part of efforts to stop the nationwide strike called by the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress.
The unions’ planned indefinite strike scheduled to commence on Tuesday was called to protest government’s failure to meet the labour union’s demand for a new national minimum wage.
While the government team had proposed a new N22, 500 from the current N18, 000 minimum wage, the labour unions demanded at least, N30, 000 from their initial N56, 000.
Some government officials however, attended the meeting hosted by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Gida Mustapha behind closed door.
Those at the meeting include, SGF Mustapha; Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige; Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed; officials of the National Salaries Income and Wage Commission, and some permanent secretaries.
Mustapha, who spoke before the meeting went into closed session, said that the tripartite committee on national minimum wage set up by the Federal Government would be concluding works on its report on Monday.
According to him, the Federal Government was waiting for the report so that it could commence processes leading to the enactment of law on the new minimum wage.
Meanwhile, two officials of the labour unions told Daily Trust in exclusive interviews that they deliberately shunned the meeting with the government, as they received credible information, the representatives of the government team have decided to ‘waste our time’.
One of the union leaders, who insisted on not being named said: “Our leaders got information that the government team were prepared to waste their and our times. They shamelessly wanted to serve us a court suit as part of measures to frustrate our going on the planned strike.
“This strike is on behalf of Nigerian workers and the government has been deceiving us. We saw the writing on the wall especially after the end of the warning strike.”