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Minimum wage: Labour threatens another nationwide strike Nov. 6

Breaking: Labour suspends planned nationwide strike

UFOMBA UZUEGBU

Barring last minute change of heart, organized labour in the country has concluded arrangements to commence a nationwide strike on November 6, if the Federal Government fails to meet its demands on the new national minimum wage of N30,000 agreed upon by the tripartite committee on minimum wage.

The threat of another nationwide strike by the organized labour came on the heel of the explanation by the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) that minimum wage comprise of the total take home pay of any worker as opposed to the assumption in most quarters that minimum wage is only the basic salary.

Labour under the aegis of Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and United Labour Congress (ULC) had alleged that the Federal Government planned to create confusion and make the negotiations for a new national minimum wage inconclusive.

The unions, in a joint statement signed by Mr Ayuba Wabba, President, Nigeria Labour Congress; Mr Bobboi Bala Kaigama, President, Trade Union Congress Mr. Joe Ajaero, noted that it was not true the unions proposed N30,000 as the new national minimum wage.They said if nothing was responsibly done by the federal government to meet their demands, “on Monday, November 6, 2018, “we shall embark on a nation-wide strike to compel this government to show more sensitivity to the plight of Nigerians and the suffering that is decimating our people on daily basis.”

They urged all Nigerians and workers not to be discouraged, alleging that the government did not care for the citizenry.They said the government would always prefer the use of force to silence and subdue their cries of anguish rather than show feelings of brotherhood especially “when our strength of logic and argument had overwhelmed their feeble attempts and propaganda. Let us today remember those who deny us and let us collectively demonstrate our position at next year’s polls”

The statement also stated: “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. Anything to the contrary no matter the quantum and character of the din or how well couched it may appear cannot be true. Resorting to Goebbelsianism at this time of national emergency which requires men and women of integrity is rather unfortunate and cannot suddenly make the brazen falsehoods truths”

As far as Nigerian workers are concerned, the unions said they would no longer negotiate on a figure for the new minimum wage having reached an agreement on this during the last sitting of the tripartite committee.

“We cannot continue discussing a figure that has already been agreed procedurally within the Committee. 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”

On the issue of no work no pay policy, the unions described it as an attempt by government to intimidate the trade union movement and its leadership to subjugate the will of Nigerian workers over the national minimum wage.

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