Some workers of the Federal Ministry of Finance were locked out of their offices on Thursday morning as the national strike action by the organised labour began. Labour is battling for a new minimum wage of some N50,000 as against the prevailing N18,000.
Our reporter could not access the private security guards manning the gate. However, some of the finance ministry staff who were loitering at the entrance said they came in the morning to resume duties only to notice the gate unusually locked against those coming in and going out.
Meanwhile, Governor Muhammad Badaru of Jigawa has pledged to pay the new minimum wage that is agreed upon by the tripartite committee constituted by the Federal Government.
Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress ( NLC ), Jigawa Council, Malam Usman Ya’u who made the disclosure in Dutse ahead of the planned industrial action said that in spite of the impasse in the committee’s meeting that led to the national leadership of the NLC giving a 14-day ultimatum, the state chapter of the NLC might reconsider the industrial action.
“I am, however, glad to assure the workers in Jigawa that the state government, led by Gov. Muhammadu Badaru, has expressed readiness to pay whatever is agreed upon by the committee,’’ he said.
The chairman said that labour was not happy with the delay on the issue of new minimum wage, particularly since the tripartite committee was set up in 2017 and held the public hearings in the six geo-political zones.
Ya’u said that in view of the ultimatum by labour to government, Jigawa Council of NLC will reconvene for its executive council meeting to deliberate on the directives from the National Secretariat and other issues affecting workers.
In compliance with the industrial action, Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN), Oyo state chapter, as early as 7:30am were at the Federal High Court, Court of Appeal and the National Industrial Court locking out litigants, lawyers and court officials.
The workers are demanding a new minimum wage of about N65,000 instead of the current national minimum wage of N18,000.