MINIMUM WAGE WAR: NLC Declares Indefinite Strike In Enugu


This afternoon the President of the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, Comrade Abdulwaheed Omar, defied intimidation from Enugu state governor by holding the mother of all rallies at the state secretariat open field where he declared an indefinite strike on behalf of workers in the state.

The action was taken after Governor Sullivan Chime refused to enter negotiations with civil servants in the state over the implementation of the N18,000 minimum wage.

He announced that the national leadership of NLC has taken over the negotiations with government for the workers in the state.

All the labour leaders in the country including the Trade Union Congress,TUC, President, Comrade Peter Esele, zonal officers and others from the five South East states were in attendance.

‘’We are fully prepared to battle Enugu state government. Labour has refused to be settled. Whatever the government has paid you last month is nothing but bonus,’’ Omar told the workers.

The indefinite strike which has crippled the economy of the state from today involves all organized labour unions in the state including bank workers, electricity workers [PHCN] and workers on essential duties.

According to the NLC president, Enugu airport will shut from tomorrow and fuel tanker drivers will not supply fuel and diesel to the state until the strike end.

He urged the citizens to bear with labour over the envisaged hardship, blaming governor Sullivan Chime for their sufferings.

Omar further disclosed that four government hired thugs have been arrested by the state police command and called on the Inspector-General of Police, Hafiz Ringim, to handle their proper prosecution in court.

The Acting NLC Secretary General, Comrade Owei Lakemfa had told the workers how government thugs, soldiers and police molested and held them hostage for several hours at Gold Valley Hotel New Haven area Enugu where they lodged just to prevent the labour leaders from addressing the workers at a rally.

He, however, disclosed that the Presidency later intervened and the soldiers sent by Chime were withdrawn while the police then escorted them for the street march covering several kilometers along with newsmen to the rally venue.

The NLC scribe further disclosed how Governor Chime threatened the deputy national president who led the NLC delegation from Abuja to Enugu, yesterday saying, “we will see what will happen’’.

Also speaking, Peter Esele said: ‘’We are going to use Enugu state as a test case. Sullivan must come and negotiate with labour. We will remember Sullivan with scorn.’


By  Jude Orji/Enugu

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