LABOUR TO DECLARE INDEFINITE STRIKE IF GOVERNMENT FAILS TO MEET THEIR WAGES DEMANDS

The Nigeria Labour congress (NLC) and the United Labour Congress (ULC) have threatened to commence an indefinite strike from November 6, 2018 if the federal government fails to meet their wages demands.

This was disclosed on Sunday, October 21, 2018 at a joint press conference involving Ayuba Wabba, president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), and Joe Ajaero, president of the United Labour Congress.

You will recall that the unions and the federal government have been at loggerheads over the minimum wage for workers.

They had gone on strike in September, 2018 but suspended the industrial action after talks with the government.

Though labour demanded an upward review of the minimum wage from 18,000 naira, the federal government proposed 24,000 naira while the state governments suggested 20,000 naira.

However the unions rejected the proposals and stated that it had become necessary for the organised private sector (OPS) as represented in the tripartite committee to speak up on this matter.

The also accused the government of not showing any sign of seriousness to resolve the workers’ concerns.

At the joint press conference, the union leaders stated that:

“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. We accepted N30, 000 as a compromise to demonstrate the willingness of Nigerian workers to make sacrifices towards nation building.

“Keeping silent in the face of this apparent mischief does our nation no good. At this time the OPS does not have any other choice but to rise to the occasion by telling Nigerians what transpired in the meeting.

“What we are waiting for is for the federal government to immediately set in motion the necessary machinery for turning the agreement into a Bill for onward submission to the NASS where we expect the presidency to work together with the legislators to make it a law so that it can be implemented quickly.

“A day of national outrage and mourning which will be used to sensitise Nigerians on our plight and on the issues at stake. This shall take place in all states of the federation including Abuja on Tuesday, the 30th day of October, 2018”.

According to the unions, the joint central working committee (CWC) meeting of all the labour centres in Nigeria will hold to receive reports and make final preparations for its ultimate engagement with the federal government on the matter on November 2, 2018.

The minister of labour and employment had said that after a meeting between the federal government and the unions, they agreed to 30,000 naira as minimum wage for workers in the public sector and 25,000 naira for their counterparts in the private sector.

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