The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the United Labour Congress (ULC) have threatened to embark on an industrial action on November 6 if the Federal Government fails to meet their demands.
In a statement jointly signed by the NLC President, Ayuba Wabba; the TUC President, Bobboi Kaigama; and ULC President Joe Ajaero, the unions lambasted the Federal Government for its decision to implement a ‘no work, no pay’ policy.
The labour unions specifically said if the upward review of the national minimum wage was not acceded to by the governors and the Federal Government, they would have no other option but to go on strike.
The federal government had maintained that it will only increase 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 also involving the private sector.
The labour unions, who initially demanded N50,000 mimimum wage, however, said they agreed to N30,000 during the negotiation.
“It is not true that we proposed N30,000 as the new national minimum wage,” the labour leaders said.
“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,” the officials said.
The statement read in part, “If nothing is responsibly done by the Federal Government to meet our demands, on Monday, November 6, we shall embark on a nationwide 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.”
“A nation where the governments owes its workforce several months in arrears of unpaid salaries has not sought ways to eliminate it but is rather seeking ways to gag same workers from protesting this crime against them and their families.
“It is akin to beating a child and denying him the right to cry. Has the government considered ‘No Pay, No Work’?’ Has it considered criminalizing non-payment of workers; salaries? Has it considered paying arrears of salaries with interests?
“Of course, it has not! They are only interested in ‘no work, no pay’ seeking ways to constantly gag and put workers in a strait jacket has always been their pastime.”