Jonathan moves to avert strike
? Chairs final meeting
From JULIANA TAIWO, Abuja
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
President Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday evening at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa chaired an emergency meeting with representatives of Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) in a bid to stop the planned warning strike over N18,000 minimum wage. The strike begins today and is expected to run through Friday, November 12.
The meeting which started at 9 p.m. had on government side Vice-President Namadi Sambo, the Minister of Finance, Olusegun Aganga, his Labour counterpart and other key ministers.
Jonathan who had been in Lagos since last Saturday on official visit, had to cut short the trip and returned to Abuja in order to resolve the issue.
In a statement signed by the Special Adviser to the President, Media and Publicity, Ima Niboro, the President assured of government?s commitment towards achieving a realistic salary and wages for Nigerian workers as evident in the increment in the salaries of Federal Government employees last month.
The President expressed the hope that labour leaders in good faith, would call off the planned strike with its attendant consequences on national economy after government reviews its action plan on a new national minimum wage within the shortest time possible.
?In the overriding interest of the nation, President Jonathan urges labour leaders, once again, to embrace continued dialogue on the issue. .
?The President wishes to reassure Nigeria?s labour force of the present administration?s continued commitment to progressively work towards achieving realistic salaries and wages for Nigerian workers as evident by the increase in the salaries of Federal Government employees implemented last month.
?It is President Jonathan?s expectation that after reviewing government?s action plan for a new national minimum wage in the shortest possible time which will be presented to them today, labour leaders would show good faith by calling off the planned strike with all its attendant negative consequences on national economy,? the statement read.
The sub-committee headed by Vice President Namadi Sambo, with five governors as members, on Monday failed to reach an agreement with labour not to embark on the warning strike.