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Minimum wage: Labour says another round of strike underway, if FG fails to act
THE Organised Labour that includes the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and United Labour Congress (ULC) says it would be left with no option than to call its members across the country to once again commence an indefinite strike if the Federal Government failed to act responsibly on its demand for new Minimum Wage for workers.
“If nothing is responsibly done by the federal government to meet our demands, on Monday, the 6th day of November, we shall embark on a nation-wide strike to compel this government to show more sensitivity to the plight of Nigerians and the suffering that is decimating our people on daily basis,” the labour bodies threatened on Sunday in joint press release signed by the NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, TUC President, Bobboi Kaigama and ULC President, Joe Ajaero.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige had denied reports that the Federal Government had agreed to pay N30,000 as the new minimum wage to workers, insisting the government can actually pay N24,000.
But the labour said there was no time during the tripartite negotiations that it proposed N30,000 to the government as the Minimum wage, rather, it noted that the N30,000 was accepted as a compromise to demonstrate its willingness to make sacrifices towards nation building.
“It is not true that we proposed N30,000 as the new national minimum wage. It is also not true that the committee did not agree on a figure during its last sitting,” the labour said
“We accepted N30,000 as a compromise to demonstrate the willingness of Nigerian workers to make sacrifices towards nation building. Anything to the contrary no matter the quantum and character of the din or how well couched it may appear cannot be true.”
Responding to statements by the Nigerian Governors’ Forum that the state governments were not comfortable with the negotiations for the new Minimum wage, the Organised Labour said: ” it would consider any Governor saying that he is unable to pay as unpatriotic and, an enemy of Nigerian workers and masses.”
“We shall vote them out in 2019,” it added
The three bodies noted that, they have not seen any sign that “this government is willing to demonstrate honour and integrity in relating with Nigerian workers and masses,” have resolved to organise a day of National Outrage and mourning that would be used to sensitize Nigerians on “our plight and on the issues at stake.”
This, they said would take place in all states of the federation including Abuja on Tuesday, the 30th day of October 2018, in addition to a meeting of various organs of the unions that would also hold as appropriate.
On Friday, November 2, 2018, the unions revealed that a Joint Central Working Committee (CWC) meeting of all the Labour Centres in Nigeria would hold to receive reports and make final preparations for their ultimate engagement with the federal government on the matter.