The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Delta chapter has started to shut offices and schools in Asaba ahead of the planned strike over delay to implement the new minimum wage.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports on Wednesday, October 16, that the NLC members were seen patrolling Asaba in a marked Hiace mini-bus, closing government offices and turning back school children.
Recall that the national body of the NLC had threatened to go on strike from Thursday, October 17, if the federal government fails to meet its demand on the consequential adjustment. Before the meetings, labour was demanding 29 per cent increase for officers at grade levels 07 to 14 and 24 per cent adjustment for officers at grade levels 15 to 17.
While the government proposed an 11 per cent increase for officers at grade level 07 to 14 and 6.5 per cent adjustment for workers at grade level 15 to 17. Goodluck Ofuburuku, NLC state chairman confirmed to NAN on phone that labour was on strike in the state.
“We are on strike and that is all I can tell you for now. We expect offices and schools to comply. The strike is in force that is why we are going round to enforce compliance,” Ofoburuku said.
The report claimed that most government offices and schools within Asaba metropolis were closed as at this morning.
The state government secretariat, along Okpanam road was equally shut as some workers who had reported for work were seen milling around the gate. Tina Okolo, a civil servant, said NLC members came and locked her office premises and ask the workers to go home.
“They came this morning and ask us to go home. I reported to work at about 8:15am, but now am going home. I don’t know much about the strike, so I am just waiting to see how things will turn out,” Okolo said.
The gate of West-End Mixed Secondary School, Asaba,was also closed, as the students were seen going home at about 10:15 am. A teacher, who pleaded anonymity, told NAN that the students had been asked to go home because of the strike.
Also, members of the NLC were seen at the Achievers Group of Schools, DLA road Asaba, driving out the students and trying to lock up the school gate. However, most banks in Asaba remained open for business as customers continued their transactions without hindrance.