NLC threatens to shut down Nigeria

…tells Nigerians to stock houses with food

Wabba: ‘No work, no pay’ won’t stop strike

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has advised Nigerians to start stocking their houses with food and other items deemed important, as workers mobilise to shut down activities nationwide on November 6 should government fail to implement N30,000 as the new minimum wage. In a communiqué issued at the end of its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Abuja, the Congress also condemned the white paper issued by government to infringe on workers submissions by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, to the Federal Executive Council (FEC). It threatened to report Nigeria to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) if the white paper was not done away with.

  “This communiqué serves as formal notice to government that the NLC will commence an indefinite national strike and industrial actions from November 6, 2018; except government accepts and commences the process of perfecting the payment of N30,000 as the negotiated and compromised new national minimum wage on or before that date. “The NEC advised Nigerians to start stocking food and other necessities of life as workers will ensure a total shutdown of the country,” the communiqué read in parts.

   The communiqué, which was signed by President of the NLC, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, and the General Secretary, Dr. Peter Ozo-Eson, expressed displeasure over what they described as the “antics” of Ngige to scuttle the work of the committee on the new national minimum wage.

  Labour further debunked, rejected and condemned the minister’s claims in the media that negotiations were still ongoing, as well as moves by Ngige to twist the truth by misinforming the public that the meetings held on October 4 and 5, 2018 were inconclusive as the members of the Tripartite Committee on National Minimum Wage did not agree on a figure.

  Wabba said: “The NEC is disturbed by government’s new offensive against organised labour and workers’ rights as contained in a report submitted to the FEC by the Minister of Labour and Employment and on which government has issued a white paper. “The NEC views this latest posture by government as calculated to cow workers into submission as well as stop labour from protesting against government’s foot dragging on the new national minimum wage.

   “The NEC noted that government’s assault on organised labour comprised emphasis on the “no work, no pay” clause in the Trade Disputes Act; fixing of tenure for workers holding union executive positions in contravention of the provisions of ILO Convention 87, and prohibition or exclusion of non-card carrying members of trade unions from leading or being part of negotiation delegations of trade unions reminiscent of the Abacha military era.

  “The NEC-in-session, based on the foregoing, resolved to organise a national day of mobilisation and sensitisation rallies for all workers to show their outrage and mourning in the 36 states of the federation and FCT on Tuesday, October 30, 2018. “In furtherance of this, NEC-in-session directed all affiliate unions, state councils, civil society allies, the informal sector and other friends of workers and lovers of democracy to commence immediate mobilisation of their members.

“The NEC-in-session similarly condemned government for its design/plan to clamp down on labour via selective and erroneous invocation of the ‘no work, no pay” clause in the Trade Disputes Act, noting that the   right to strike is both a human and trade union right and cannot be abridged as it is what distinguishes a worker from a slave; there is nothing new about this clause as it has been in our statutes for over 40 years.

“The NEC, accordingly, resolved that the threat of “no work no pay” will not deter it from embarking on strike when necessary as it has always complied with legal requirements precedent and will always comply with those requirements.

“The NEC-in-session urges Nigerian workers to disregard government’s directive on “no work, no pay” because workers are already being impoverished and being owed arrears of salaries. “Accordingly, the NECin- session resolved to advise government to shelve its White Paper or risk being reported to the ILO; the NEC also resolved not to be bound by the latest White Paper by government against labour as it is an illegality and a throwback to the dark days of fascism which organised labour successfully confronted,” the communiqué noted.

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