Minimum Wage : Senate Frowns at Labour over National Grid Shutdown, disruption of Hajj flight…Plans prevention of reoccurrences through legislation



From Lateef Taiwo

The Senate Tuesday frowned at some excessive actions taken by some members of Nigeria Labour Congress ( NLC) and Trade Union Congress ( TUC) during nationwide strike action for new minimum wage on Monday.

It specifically declared that the shut down of the National Grid by some labour unionists was more of economic sabotage than agitation for new minimum wage and also disruption of Hajj flight .

It consequently declared that such situation would not be allowed to re – occur as laws against it would be reflected in the new national minimum wage Act that would be enacted soon after submission of bill to that effect by the executive .

Senate’s exceptions to the alleged excesses of labour unionists during the now suspended nationwide strike , came to the fore through motion sponsored on the strike action and new minimum wage by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Labour, Senator Diket Plang ( APC Plateau Central ).

Senator Plang had in the motion , requested the Senate to call on the federal government to expedite action on new minimum wage as a way of stopping the industrial unrest which was however overtaken by sudden suspension of the strike by labour.

But in his remarks , the President of the Senate , Senator Godswill Akpabio said though it was heartwarming that the strike has been suspended but excesses made by some labour unionists need to be frowned at .

” One of such excesses , was the shut down of the National Grid which is more of an economic sabotage than agitation for new minimum wage .

” Disruption of Hajj flight by some other labour unionists as said by the Deputy President of the Senate , is also not palatable being a religious exercise .

” Also , disruption or prevention of students from writing their West African School Certificate Examination by some labour unionists during the strike was bad because the examination is not organized by Nigeria but West African Countries “, he said.

He added that such actions would not be allowed to be repeated as required laws against them , would be reflected in the new National Minimum Wage Bill expected from the executive very soon .

He however commended the labour unions for calling off the strike

” I want to thank the Nigerian Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress for listening to the voice of Nigerians and the international community by calling off the strike to enable negotiations to continue and we wish them well in the negotiations.

“On our part, we will continue to do our best by making contributions and at the same time awaiting the incoming Bill on Minimum Wage for us to enact for the benefit of all Nigerians”, he said .


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