Friday, September 28, 2018

New Minimum Wage: Ekiti Workers Abandon Public Offices as Labor Industrial Action Takes Effect
September 27, 2018
By Emmanuel Ani

The Ekiti State secretariat, including the offices of the governor and his deputy on Thursday bore the toga of a graveyard scenery as state workers complied with the national strike declared by both the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, and the Trade Union Congress, TUC.

DAILY POST reports that virtually all public offices in Ekiti state, including local government secretariats remained under lock and key as the action by the organized labour took effect.

Though, commercial activities went undisturbed in Ado Ekiti, the state capital, in the early hours of the day, same was not with government offices at both Local Government, state and Federal agencies were deserted.

Some federal media agencies in the state also operated on skeletal services.

A drive round town gave an indication that only top management staff such ministries and agencies were sighted while no official in the junior and middle-level management reported for duty.

However, those in the private sector, including private schools, filling stations, markets and banks opened for business for the greater part of the day.

Some of the banks later shut their doors to customers at about 1:00pm after allegedly receiving threats from labour leaders who threatened to picket them.

DAILY POST reports that the leadership of the organized labour in Ekiti State had earlier directed all the workers in the State to join the nationwide strike.

This was echoed to the state workers in the early hours of the day by both the Nigeria Labour Congress(NLC) state chairman, Mr. Ade Adesanmi and his Trade Union Congress(TUC) counterpart, Odunayo Adesoye.

The strike was declared by the two bodies, which was deemed to have a binding force on all their affiliates to press the Federal and State Governments to accede to their requests for a new Minimum Wage for workers across the country.

The labour leaders told our reporter that the strike action was going to affect both the public and private sectors ultimately.

According to the leaders, the directive earlier given that workers , including commercial drivers, Okada operators, banks, market men and women should stay off businesses still subsists, saying with time, all category of workers would embrace the action.

The TUC boss, who spoke on behalf of the labour leaders, expressed satisfaction with the level of compliance on the first day of the nationwide strike.

He assured that the strike action would be total in Ekiti, saying the body had already entered into agreement with Civil Society Organisations to ensure its success.

He said the leadership of the labour centres in Ekiti had also agreed to coalesce and ensure the success of the nationwide strike without fail.

Justifying the strike action, Adesoye insisted that the present Minimum wage to workers had impoverished the workforce, adding that time had come for workers to begin to savour the fruits of their labour through a package that could truly take them home.

He, therefore, did not rule out possibility of the organized labour picketing those places where the strike appeared ineffective on its first day.

“We expect that the banks, commercial drivers, Okada operators and sole business owners will participate in this strike. We have reached out to the Civil Society Organisations to ensure will mobilize for the strike

“We are not going to shy away from picketing areas that fail to conform with our directive as given from Abuja

“This is a fight that has to do with our collective destiny. We must ensure that our commonwealth should be evenly distributed. It shouldn’t be concentrated in the hands of a few Nigerian leaders to begin to feed fat on the nation

“What they said they are giving us is a take home, but what we are getting cannot take us half home in the real sense of it, so we must demand for a fair share of our national treasure,” he said.

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