• Sunday, June 16, 2024
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Labour declares indefinite strike from June 3 over minimum wage talks

Labour rejects FG’s N60,000 minimum wage offer

The Nigeria Labour Congress NLC and the Trade Union Congress TUC, have declared indefinite strike commencing from Monday, June 3, 2024

Festus Osifo, President of the TUC, while speaking for the Organised Labour in Abuja on Friday, said the action followed breakdown of negotiation for a new national Minimum Wage

He disclosed that the government had demonstrated unwillingness to address issues raised by the organised labour, especially the recent hike in electricity tariffs and demand for a living wage.

“Since we undertook the nationwide protest against the recent hike in electricity tariffs, no government official has called us for discussion. Even the Minister of Power has not thought it fit to invite us for discussion”.

The negotiation which resumed on Friday, again ended in deadlock as labour officials walked out of the meeting.

NLC officials left the Nicon Luxury hotel, Abuja, venue of the 37 man tripartite committee meeting at about 2.45pm.

Festus Osifo, the Trade Union Congress TUC, President told BusinessDay that they were leaving the venue because the government team did not have anything new to offer

BusinessDay gathered that the organised labour will later this afternoon address a world press conference on the way forward.

The NLC and TUC, had last week, rejected the N60000 fresh offer put forward by the federal government, heightening tension over a possible industrial action, as the May 31st deadline given by the organised labour expires today, Friday.

Osifo explained that the Organised Labour had no choice but embark on the strike as government officials did not attend the Friday’s tripartite meeting.

“We attended because as patriotic citizens, we felt that was the right thing to do,but we discovered that there were no government officials, except the Minister of State for Labour and Employment who is the facilitator of the meeting.

“In the light of this persistent inaction, we, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), hereby issue a notice of commencement of an indefinite nationwide strike to the Federal Government”

“ We reiterate that since the National Minimum Wage negotiation exercise has not been concluded and the agreed wage passed into law; the hike in electricity tariff has not been reversed and the categorization of consumers into Bands has not stopped as demanded; Nigerian workers are compelled by these failures to embark on an indefinite nationwide industrial action beginning on Monday, the 3rd of June, 2024 to press home our demands.”

“We are embarking on a nationwide strike effective, Monday, June 3rd, 2024, until a new minimum wage is in place”

Osifo recalled the last meeting held on Tuesday where the government offered N60,000 which labour rejected.

“At that meeting, we told them that we will not attend any other meetings, unless something new was offered.

“ At today’s meeting, there was nobody to offer anything. There were no government officials except for the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, the facilitator.

“Minister of Power never invited us. We had asked the government to reverse the electricity price hike.

“We had a national executive council meeting where we were charged to do everything to make sure that a new Minimum wage was out in place”

Joe Ajaero, President of the NLC, while corroborating the position of the TUC President, added that the “indefinite strike will remain until a new Minimum Wage is in place.

He added that what the development means for the team is that “ We will now negotiate under duress”.

It is however not immediately clear, if the next level of negotiations will be handled by the same tripartite committee or the government will raise a new team to now interface with the organised labour.