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Strike: Senate carpets NLC, TUC for shutting down national grid

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The Senate on Tuesday described as excessive, some actions taken by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) during nationwide strike action for a new minimum wage.

The lawmakers expressed disaffection over the shutdown of the National Grid and disruptions of airlift of pilgrims to Saudi Arabia for the annual Hajj operation.

The Senate also dropped the hint of legislation against the shutdown of the national grid which it viewed as economic sabotage.

The Senate took the position during contributions to a motion on the industrial action by the Organised Labour sponsored by the Senator representing Plateau Central, Diket Plang.

Plang in his motion urged the Senate to expedite action on the new Minimum Wage. Incidentally, the strike action was suspended on Tuesday.

President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio who said it was heartwarming that the strike action has been suspended, said the nation would no longer tolerate some of the action taken by members of the NLC and the TUC.

He said: “One of such excesses, was the shutdown of the National Grid which is more of an economic sabotage than agitation for new minimum wage.

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“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 maintained that to forestall such actions in the future, punishment for deterrence would be enshrined 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.

NIGERIAN TRIBUNE


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