Full Video: Labour union shuts down Nigeria

Full Video: Labour union shuts down Nigeria

Labour union shuts down Nigeria

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has directed all employees of government and those working in private sector across the country to embark on strike effective from Thursday September 27, 2018.

NLC gave the directive following government failure to meet the workers expectation on increase in national minimum wage.

The union wants the minimum wage reviewed significantly upward from its current N18,000, (about 50 US dollar at its current exchange rate of N360)

Addressing newsmen in Abuja on Wednesday, president of the union, Ayuba Wabba, said call for industrial action followed refusal of the federal government to reconvene meeting of Tripartite National Minimum Wage Committee to enable it conclude its work.

Government had constituted the committee to consider the workers demand and arrive at a wage that will be acceptable to both parties.

Wabba said the strike will be a warning strike, and that labour would not hesitate to call for “mother of all strikes,” if government continues to fail to meet labour’s demand.

Part of his address reads: “We members of organised labour would want to formally inform al employers of labour and Nigerians that beginning from midnight, Wednesday, 26 September, 2018, workers from all sectors of the economy and our civil society allies will begin a nationwide warning strike action over the refusal of the federal government to reconvene the meeting of the Tripartite National Minimum Wage Committee to enable it conclude its work.

“The action is in compliance wit the decision of the various organs of the organised Labour which endorsed the 14-day ultimatum served on the federal government by members of the organised labour who are members of the Tripartite Committee on the new National Minimum Wage.

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“The labour organ further mandated the leadership to take all necessary steps including a warning strike in the first instance to compel the government to reconvene the meeting of the committee in order to bring it to a logical conclusion.
In compliance with this mandate, all workers in the public and private sectors at all levels across the country have been directed to comply. Industrial unions, state councils, all worker organisations and our civil society allies have been directed to step up mobilisation of their members. All public and private institutions, offices, banks, schools, public and private business premises, including filling stations are to remain shut till further notice. All those who mean well for this country are to see to the success of this action. Further more, this action is to remain in force until further directives are given.

“Although the issues have been very much in the public domain, for the purpose of this strike action, we find it necessary to offer this further explanation. The National Minimum Wage Committee was inaugurated in November 2017 but commenced work in March 2018 with timelines to deliver on its mandate of arriving at a new national minimum wage in August/September 2018. The Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige himself in February this year during the 40th anniversary celebration of the Nigeria Labour Congress, assured workers that they would have a new minimum wage in September.

“In order to meet this deadline, the committee, inspire of challenges, worked assiduously and meticulously. in the course of the work of the Committee, members had ample time to consult and to take memoranda from across country and across the sectors. The Committee was satisfied that it received memoranda and inputs from 21 states government, specialised agencies of the Federal government, The Organised Private Sector, Organised Labour and the general public. This was the reason why the organised Labour was outraged and shell-shocked by the decision of Government to adjourn the meeting of the Committee indefinitely to enable consultations by the Federal Government team.

“Expectedly, the Minister’s pronouncement generated instant considerable tension among workers and provoked sharp actions from the unions which justifiably argued that the Government was only out to waste their time and was not prepared to pay a new national minimum wage.

“Concerned that his pronouncement would be capable of rubbishing the work of the committee, cast doubt on the integrity of the Government as well s cause serious nation-wide industrial disharmony, members of the Organised Labour reached out to the Government to reconsider this decision, but it was rebuffed. Left with no other option, members of the Organised Labour served a 14-day notice on the Government which to reconvene the meeting of the Committee to enable it conclude its work.

“These are clear signs that the Government is not ready for a new national minimum wage.

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