• Thursday, June 13, 2024
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Why labour may resume strike on Tuesday

FG in emergency meeting with labour leaders

The organised labour has rejected the proposed N62,000 or N100,000 minimum wage for workers, planning to resume strike on Tuesday.

The union demanded N250,000 at the Tripartite Committee on Minimum Wage meeting last Friday.

Chris Onyeka, assistant general secretary of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), disclosed this on Channels Television’s The Morning Brief on Monday.

Onyeka mentioned that the deadline for the federal government’s response is midnight, Tuesday, June 11, 2024.

Failure to meet worker demands by the federal government and national assembly may lead to a meeting of the NLC and Trade Union Congress to consider resuming the nationwide industrial action, which was relaxed last week.

Onyeka emphasised the union’s refusal to accept wages below the cost of living for Nigerian workers, maintaining the demand for N250,000. He dismissed the proposed N62,000 or N100,000 as “starvation wage.”

“Our position is very clear. We have never considered accepting N62,000 or any other wage that we know is below what we know is able to take Nigerian workers home. We will not negotiate a starvation wage.

“We have never contemplated N100,000 let alone N62,000. We are still at N250,000, that is where we are, and that is what we considered enough concession to the government and the other social partners in this particular situation. We are not just driven by frivolities but the realities of the market place; realities of things we buy every day, bag of rice, yam, garri, and all of that.

“The Federal Government and the National Assembly have the call now. It is not our call. Our demand is there for them (the government) to look at and send an Executive Bill to the National Assembly, and for the National Assembly to look at what we have demanded, the various facts of the law, and then come up with a National Minimum Act that meets our demands,” Onyeka said.

He added that, “If that does not meet our demand, we have given the Federal Government a one-week notice to look at the issues and that one week expires tomorrow (Tuesday). If after tomorrow, we have not seen any tangible response from the government, the organs of the Organised Labour will meet to decide on what next.

“It was clear what we said. We said we are relaxing a nationwide indefinite strike. It’s like putting a pause on it.

“So, if you put a pause on something and the organs that govern us as trade unions decide that we should remove that pause, it means that we go back to what was in existence before.”