Wednesday, 26 September 2018

NLC Threatens Showdown with FG Over Minimum Wage, Begin Strike This Thursday





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The Nigeria Labor Congress has threatened showdown with Nigeria’s Federal Government as it set to proceed on a nationwide warning strike with effect from Thursday
These developments accordingly followed in the delay in negotiation for a new minimum wage by the federal government


In a statement signed by its General Secretary, Dr Peter Ozo-Eson, the Nigeria Labour Congress on Tuesday directed all industrial unions in the country and state and state council to immediately begin mobilization of their members in readiness for the warning strike
The statement put further, “This is to inform you that the organized labour shall commence a nationwide warning strike in respect of the non-implementation of the National Minimum Wage effective midnight of Wednesday, September 26, 2018.
“All industrial unions and all state councils are to commence mobilization immediately for an effective strike action nationwide. A formal notification letter will be sent later in the day.”
President Muhammadu Buhari had in November 2017, inaugurated a tripartite committee to negotiate a new national minimum wage for the country.
The government had assured workers that the committee, which began sitting in March 2018, would conclude its work by the end of this month.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, who assured the workers of a new wage by the end of the third quarter, later announced that the committee had yet to finalise its work.
He stated that the government needed more time to consult before arriving at a figure which would be discussed by the committee.
The panel subsequently adjourned indefinitely.
The development, however, angered organised labour which accused the government of delaying the process and issued a two-week ultimatum.
It threatened to embark on a strike if the government failed to recall the committee and conclude negotiation on the new minimum wage.
Meanwhile, Comrade Issa Aremu, a labour leader and Kwara state governorship aspirant under the platform of labour party has said that it is not too late for the federal government to avert  the proposed industrial action that the organized labour is planning to embark upon  
Aremu, in a statement on Tuesday, warned that if the government did not address the issues, the organised labour was set to commence a nationwide strike to compel it to announce its figure and ensure the completion of work on the new national minimum wage.
He stated that the Federal Government could avert the impending industrial crisis by offering leadership and conclude the negotiation before the expiration of the ultimatum given to it by the organised labour.
Aremu, who is the Kwara State governorship candidate of the Labour Party, warned that if the government failed to address the demand of labour unions, the party would not hesitate to mobilise its members in the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory to join the mass protest by the organised labour.
He said economic recovery would elude Nigeria until the country puts an end to what he called “persistent crisis of compensation of the working class through enhanced purchasing power, which is only possible through prompt and adequate payment of minimum and living wage for the employed workforce.”

He said the key to sustainable development was labour productivity in both the public and private sectors, which was only possible with motivated paid workers at work and after work through an adequate pension.

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