By Nasiru Baba
The organized labour, comprising of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC), has threatened to embark on a fresh nationwide strike on November 6.
According to the unions, industrial action is inevitable if the Federal Government fails to attend to the pay rise issue.
The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba, and that of the United Labour Congress, Joe Ajaero, in a press statement yesterday, said they will be protesting over what they described as the government’s unwillingness to implement a new minimum wage for workers.
The labour unions expressed anger at government’s stance on new minimum wage for workers, adding that the labour unions in Nigeria have not seen any sign of seriousness on the government’s part to resolve workers’ concerns.
“We will observe a day of national outrage and mourning, which will be used to sensitize 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,” they said.
They said the Joint Central Working Committee (CWC) meeting of all the labour centres in Nigeria will hold to receive reports and make final preparations for our ultimate engagement with the federal government on the matter on November 2.
Recall that the federal government insists it could only increase the minimum wage from the current N18,000 to N24,000, claiming no amount was agreed upon with the labour leaders at a meeting of a tripartite committee also involving the private sector.
The labour union had earlier insisted on N50,000 minimum wage but soft pedaled to N30,000 during their negotiation with government. However, the unions explained that they only agreed, as a compromise, to demonstrate the willingness of Nigerian workers to make sacrifices towards nation building.
“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,” the officials said.
The NLC and TUC leaders said it has become necessary for the Organised Private Sector (OPS) as represented in the tripartite committee to speak up on this matter.
“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.”