Organised Labour Embarks On Strike As Banks, Schools, Hospitals Shutdown In Ogun

Date:

Segun Ayinde, Abeokuta

Banks, schools and hospitals on Monday shut down activities in Ogun State following the indefinite strike organised by the leadership of Nigeria Labour Congress(NLC) and Trade Union Congress(TUC)

First News observed that banks around Oke-Ilewo, Abeokutadid not open for operation while schools around the axis including St Annes Nursery and Primary School sent their pupils to return home.

At state hospital, Ijaye in Abeokuta, nurses were seen withdrawing services as doctors on duties gave out skeletal services on patients

A senior matron who spoke with our correspondent under the condition of anonymity for fear of victimisation also confirmed that the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, Sagamu joined the strike and the patients have been told to go home

She said “Can tell you that the staff in OOUTH have joined the strike, although, the doctors who are not members of NLC are still on duty. The patients are left with no other choice than to be discharged and come back whenever the strike is called off”

Addressing newsmen on the strike action, the Chairman, Trade Union Congress, Ogun State, Akeem Lasisi said the strike was very successful noting there was total complaince by workers in the state

Lasisi said ” “We are all aware that the organised labour gave the federal government till May 31, 2024, to implement the new minimum wage and that if it fails, the labour will have no choice but to embark on the indefinite strike starting today. The organised labour also demanded that the recently increased electricity tariff from N225 per kilowatt per hour should also be reverted to N66 per kilowatt per hour.”

“We have warned the government that the labour reject this apartheid categorisation of electricity consumers into band A, B, C, D, labour rejected this discrimination and told the FG to revert this policy but the government has failed to do this. Even the Minister of Power has said nothing about this.

“The Federal government said it will pay workers N60,000 new minimum wage but we want all Nigerians to know that organised labour cannot reduce the minimum wage because as we speak, the least paid federal government worker collects N77,000.”

“How will the federal government now be offering N60,000, there is a lot of insincerity on the part of the government..the truth is that the workers are suffering with all the increase in prices of food and other commodities, what of transportation fares? Life is becoming too hard.

“The level of compliance as far as the strike is concerned is total..the schools, hospitals, the local government secretariats, the state and even federal secretariat are shut down. We only allow some schools to open because of the students writing the West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination, so the strike in Ogun State has been quite successful.

“We however sincerely hope that the federal government will be reasonable enough to dialogue with workers to get this challenge resolved once and for all in favour of the workers. The truth is that the suffering is much and the government needs to respond positively to our modest requests.”

Both NLC and TUC directed their members to proceed on indefinite strike due to the refusal of the government to accept their demand of over N494,000 minimum wage while the Federal Government has offered to pay N60,000

Organised labour has equally requested that the federal government revert the recently increased electricity tariff from N225 per kilowatt/hour to N66 kilowatts/hour.

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