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Minimum wage: Workers’ strike cripples government’s activities in Ogun

Government activities in Ogun State were yesterday grounded as workers in the state began a one-week warning strike over the non-implementation of new minimum wage. When New Telegraph monitored the strike, it was observedthatasearlyas6a.m., labourleaderswhohadmobilised their members stormed ministries, agencies and parastatals to enforce compliance with the strike.

The main gate at the State Secretariat, Oke – Mosan, Abeokuta, was blocked with the union’s vehicles to stop workers from resuming at their duty posts just as those who arrived early were turned back home. Besides, New Telegraph observed heavy security presence at the secretariat to forestall breakdown of law and order. Apart from Permanent Secretaries, Directors and other top echelons in the civil service who were at work, there was high-level of compliance with the warning strike by the workers especially in the junior cadre.

It was also gathered that all the headquarters of 20 Local Government Areas were grounded in compliance with the strike. The Organised Labour had on Tuesday declared the one-week warning strike over non-implementation of the new minimum wage by the state government.

The strike was declared shortly after negotiation between the government’s team and the labour leaders ended in deadlock. The workers had given the state government a 14- day ultimatum to begin payment of new minimum wage. The ultimatum ended on Tuesday. But the state officials led by the Secretary to the State (SSG), Tokunbo Talabi engaged the organised Labour in a discussion that lasted for hours at the Governor’s Office, Oke Mosan, Abeo-kuta, on Tuesday. The government told the labour leaders that minimum wage implementation would be delayed until the state was financially buoyant. However, New Telegraph gathered that the meeting failed to yield positive results. The labour leaders, led by the State Chairman of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Emmanuel Bankole immediately addressed the aggrieved workers at Arcade Ground located within the State Secretariat in the state capital. Bankole described the conditions given for nonimplementation by the government as “untenable and unacceptable.”

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