21 October 2018

Nigeria: Minimum Wage - Labour Threatens Indefinite Nationwide Strike

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(file photo).

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the United Labour Congress (ULC) have threatened to commence an indefinite nationwide strike from November 6 if the government does not meet their demands.

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

"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," the unions said.

The labour unions have been at loggerhead with the Nigeria government over a new minimum wage for workers.

The unions had initially embarked on a nationwide strike on September 26 to compel the tripartite committee to complete its assignment on the new minimum wage.

The strike was suspended after the committee reconvened. But it is the deliberations of the committee that are now in dispute.

The federal government insisted on increasing the minimum wage from the current N18,000 to N24,000, claiming no amount was agreed with the labour leaders at a meeting of a tripartite committee that also included the private sector.

The labour unions initially demanded N50,000 minimum wage, but have now pegged their demand at N30,000 during the negotiation.

Nigeria Governors Forum on its part said while the governors are not against a new wage structure for workers, some states lack the capacity to pay.

They further stated that the Joint Central Working Committee (CWC) meeting of all the labour centres in Nigeria will hold to receive reports and make final preparations "for our ultimate engagement with the federal government on the matter on November 2."

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