Workers in Zamfara on Friday, commenced an indefinite strike to demand full implementation of the new national minimum wage by the State Government.
The workers embarked on the strike, following a directive from the state's branch of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), directing them to stay at home from May 18, until further notice.
In a radio announcement by the NLC Chairman in the state, Abdullahi Modomawa, the union urged all its members to stay at home “because the State Government has failed us and we have not reached an agreement.”
The strike followed the failure of the State Government's negotiators and officials of labour to agree on details of the minimum wage.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) learnt that the negotiation was deadlocked because the government's team insisted that even if the government would pay the minimum wage of N18, 000, it would not pay other attached allowances.
The workers, however, rejected this condition.
Labour insisted that all allowances accruing to workers should be settled, including weighing allowances for media practitioners.
NAN observed that most government ministries and departments as well as banks were sealed off by members of the NLC while many vehicles plying the streets of the state's capital carried leaves to show solidarity with workers.
The State Governor, Alhaji AbdulazizYari, has declared that he will not hesitate to sack any worker who fails to return to work on May 21.
The governor while addressing the workers, denied refusing to implement the minimum wage.
“I will not beg the workers to return to work and I will not hesitate to stop the salary of any of them who fails to return to his duty post by Monday.
“If there is anyone on the State Government's pay-roll collecting less than the N18, 000, such worker should come forward and say so; no one can compel me to pay beyond that,” he declared.
He said that before the introduction of the N18,000 minimum wage, the State Government was spending N838 million monthly on workers’ salaries but that when it started paying, the wage bill rose to N1.33 billion.