President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba, yesterday had separate meetings with the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, saying labour was ready to resume negotiations with the federal government on the strike started Wednesday over fuel price increase.
The Wabba-led faction of the NLC had on Wednesday began an indefinite strike over the increase in the pump price of fuel from N86.5 to N145 per litre.
Speaking during a meeting with the senate president, Wabba said the strike would continue until the government resumed talks with them.
He denied reports that they walked out on government officials during their meeting on Tuesday.
“We did not at any point walk out on government and we are still open to discussion and dialogue because we are also doing this in the best interest of all of us as the working class and the larger population of citizens,” he said.
The senate president in his remarks said the meeting was convened to find a lasting solution to the impasse.
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara who met Wabba with his deputy, Yusuff Sulaimon Lasun, said at the end of the meeting that the leadership of the House appealed to labour to shelve the strike as a condition for continued discussions with government.
“We need to appreciate that our national wealth has shrunk. We were making $110 per barrel (of crude oil), but it is $43 now. On our part, we believe that our workers should be paid a living wage, not even a minimum wage. We have appealed to labour to look into these issues again,” he said. Wabba said they would have to consult with their larger members before taking any final decision on the strike.
Asked whether they would call off the strike as demanded by the speaker, Wabba said the strike was on and the discussion with the House leadership was just an attempt to end it.