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Labour may resume strike Tuesday

NIGERIAN workers may resume nationwide strike on Tuesday, June 11, if the federal government fails to meet their demand on minimum wage, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Assistant General Secretary, Chris Onyeka said on Monday.

While featuring on Channels TV “Sunrise Daily on Monday, Onyeka noted that the one-week grace period granted to the Federal Government on Tuesday, June 4, 2024, would expire at midnight on Tuesday, June 11, 2024, adding that should the federal government and National Assembly fail to act on the demands of workers by Tuesday, the organised labour will be forced to embark on indefinite strike.

The NLC official disclosed this on Monday, June 10, while speaking on the Channels Television’s The Morning Brief show.

According to him, the NLC and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) would convene to decide on the resumption of the nationwide industrial action that was relaxed last week.

The ICIR reported how the workers embarked on a strike on Monday, June 3 to compel the government to agree on an acceptable minimum wage.

They relaxed the strike the following day after reaching an agreement with the government.

The government agreed to improve the minimum wage offer beyond the initial N60,000, with President Tinubu ordering the Finance Minister, Wale Edun to prepare a template for the new minimum wage.

Consequently, the federal government proposed N62,000 as the new minimum wage, a N2000 increase from the earlier N60,000 offered.

However, the labour has since demanded a much higher wage, pegging its earlier demand of N615,000 to N250,000.

Speaking on Channel’s morning show, Onyeka said: “The Federal Government and the National Assembly have the call now. It is not our call. Our demand is there for them (the government) to look at and send an Executive Bill to the National Assembly, and for the National Assembly to look at what we have demanded, the various facts of the law, and then come up with a National Minimum Act that meets our demands.




     

     

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    “If that does not meet our demand, we have given the Federal Government a one-week notice to look at the issues and that one week expires tomorrow (Tuesday). If after tomorrow, we have not seen any tangible response from the government, the organs of the organised Labour will meet to decide on what next.”

    When asked what the decision of Labour would be should the government insist on ₦62,000, he said, “It was clear what we said. We said we are relaxing a nationwide indefinite strike. It’s like putting a pause on it. So, if you put a pause on something and that organs that govern us as trade unions decide that we should remove that pause, it means that we go back to what was in existence before.”

    He insisted that the labour won’t accept the latest government’s offer of N62,000 and the N100,000 proposal, labelling it as “starvation wage”

    “We have never considered accepting ₦62,000 or any other wage that we know is below what we know is able to take Nigerian workers home. We will not negotiate a starvation wage,” he added.

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    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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