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Strike: Banks, schools, civil servants comply with NLC directive in Ondo, Osun 

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Banks, public schools and government ofices were closed in Osun and Ondo states as workers complied with the directive of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress to commence a nationwide indefinite strike on Monday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that NLC, had ordered workers to begin an indefinite nationwide strike following the May 31 deadline for the Federal Government to approve and implement a new National Minimum Wage.

NAN also reports that last minute intervention on Sunday night by the National Assembly to prevent the nationwide strike was futile as the meeting with government representatives and labour leaders ended in a deadlock.

The Federal Government had insisted on N60,000 as the new minimum wage, while labour demanded N495,000 as what was acceptable to the unions.

NAN correspondents, who monitored the level of compliance in Akure and Osogbo, in Ondo and Osun states respectively, reports that most banks did not open their doors to customers.

Also, the federal and state secretariats and other government establishments in the two states were closed and offices deserted as workers complied with the directives of the labour unions.

Pupils of public primary and secondary schools, who went to school early, were seen returning home after they were turned back at their various school gates by teachers.

At the governor’s office in Alagbaka, Akure, there was low key activities as only few workers were seen in the premises

In one of the commercial banks in Akure, a staff, who did not want his name published, told NAN that the closure was in compliance with the labour unions’ directives.

“We are not open for service today and we can not actually say the day we are going to open until directives come from above,” he said.

Also, speaking with NAN in Ikare-Akoko, a local government staff of Akoko North-East Local Government, Mr Muriana Balogun, called on the Federal Government to do the needful concerning Labour’s demand so that the strike would not have much impact on the nation’s economy.

Balogun, who said that he could not blame the labour union for the commencement of the strike, noted that there was enough time for government to avoid the strike if it was serious about workers welfare.

According to him, now that all the public schools are closed, government workers are at home, even none of the banks opened for services.

“If care is not taken, it will affect the economy. Here in Ikare-Akoko, the only people you can see working today is INEC officials for registration of PVC ahead of governorship election coming up in November.

“So, I will appeal to government and the labour unions to have a rethink and return to the negotiation table and arrive at a consensus to move the nation forward,” he said.

At the Osun State Government Secretariat in Abere, Osogbo, the gates to the secretariat were locked, even as security men were stationed at the gates to prevent breakdown of law and order.

Speaking with NAN, Mr Christopher Arapasopo, Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Osun Chapter, said the directive was for all workers to stay at home and away from their offices.

Arapasopo said there would be no form of protest or rally, as the instruction was just for workers to stay in their homes.

He disclosed that a monitoring and enforcement committee had been set up to go round to ensure that the directive was fully complied with.

Mr Taiwo Olapade, Chairman of the state labour monitoring and enforcement committee, told NAN that they were at the state secretariat gate, to ensure that workers comply with the strike directive.

“We are at the Abere First Gate (Osun Government Secretariat main gate) ensuring people do not have access into the secretariat.

“We are sending people back home that there is a nationwide indefinite strike. No worker is going into the secretariat now.” he said

He said all the local government secretariats too had been shut down and there were enforcers too to ensure full compliance with the strike directive. (NAN)

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