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NLC Threatens Fresh Industrial Action on November 6 Over Minimum Wage

Valentine Chinyem

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Labour unions have threatened to embark on a fresh nationwide and indefinite strike from November 6 if government fails to meet up with their demands.

The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba, and that of the United Labour Congress, Joe Ajaero, stated this in a press statement on Sunday.

The labour unions picked offence after the federal government denied they reached an agreement with union leaders over a set amount as minimum wage; It also added that they talked about an increase from the current N18,000 to N24,000 at a meeting of a tripartite committee also involving the private sector but no agreement was reached.

However, labour leaders while speaking said, “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,” the officials said.

Wabba and Ajaero 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.”

They said labour unions in Nigeria have not seen any sign of seriousness on the government’s part to resolve workers’ concerns.

“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,” they said.

They however 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 the meeting with the federal government scheduled to hold on November 2.

It would be recalled that the unions had embarked on a nationwide strike on September 26.