New minimum wage: NLC, TUC begin nationwide strike Thursday

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) have directed their state councils and industrial unions across the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory (FCT), to mobilise workers to down tools tomorrow.
The industrial action is hinged on Federal Government’s failure to meet its demand on new minimum wage.
The NLC had given government a 14-day ultimatum to reconvene the tripartite committee, which was set up by President Muhammad Buhari in November last year, to arrive at a new minimum wage which it promised to announce and implement by the end of September 2018.
However, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, had, few weeks ago, mentioned that the new minimum wage was no longer feasible this September.

In a statement made available to newsmen yesterday in Abuja, General Secretary of NLC, Dr. Peter Ozo-Eson, disclosed that unless government meets its demands, all workers are set to sit at home across the country.
In a letter addressed to all industrial unions and NLC State Councils, he said: “This is to inform you that the organised labour shall commence nationwide warning strike in respect of the non-implementation of the National Minimum Wage, effective from Midnight of Wednesday, September 26.

“All industrial unions and all State Councils are to commence mobilisation immediately for an effective strike action, nationwide.”
Also, the TUC has insisted that organised labour would commence strike from early hours of Thursday, September 27.

A statement signed by Mr. Musa-Lawal Ozigi, TUC, Secretary General in Abuja stated that the decision to embark on strike was sequel to the resolve of the Central Working Committee (CWC) of TUC on September 24.
Ozigi said that following the mandate of the CWC, TUC leadership would take all necessary action to effect the ultimatum on the new minimum wage in collaboration with other stakeholders.
“Strike is hereby declared to commence from early hours of Thursday, September 27, 2018,” the Secretary General said.

He noted that as a result of the TUC’s decision to embark on strike, mobilisation of members would commence immediately.
According to him, all workers, civil society organisations and the masses are hereby put on notice to stockpile their houses for all necessary provisions and food items.

Ozigi, however, called on state councils to form joint state strike implementation committee that would comprise the TUC, NLC and other stakeholders in the state to ensure effectiveness.
He further called on union members to be alert for further directive on or before Thursday.

The labour leaders had, on September 12, cautioned the Federal Government against foot-dragging on the new minimum wage and allow the tripartite committee to conclude its job to avoid action.
The NLC President, Mr. Ayuba Wabba, had said that the committee was not pleased with the comments allegedly made by Ngige.
The minister had earlier told the committee to adjourn indefinitely to give room for further consultations with the government on the new minimum wage.
The Federal Government had assured the organised labour that the Tripartite Committee on the National Minimum Wage would conclude its negotiation before the expiration of the 14-day ultimatum.
Ms Amal Pepple, Chairman, Tripartite Committee on the new National Minimum Wage gave the assurance while speaking with newsmen recently in Abuja.
Ngige said that the organised labour’s 14-day ultimatum was “a subtle blackmail” to stampede the Tripartite Committee on the new National Minimum Wage.
According to him, it is not true that the Federal Government is trying to stall negotiations.

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