Minimum Wage: NLC suspends planned nationwide strike

Joint NLC, TUC, ULC nationwide protest over alleged recalcitrance of government and employers to pay adequate minimum wage, at the Federal Secretariat in Abuja on Tuesday (30/10/18). 05389/30/10/2018/Deborah Bada/BJO/NAN
FILE: Joint NLC, TUC, ULC nationwide protest over alleged recalcitrance of government and employers to pay adequate minimum wage, at the Federal Secretariat in Abuja on Tuesday (30/10/18). 05389/30/10/2018/Deborah Bada/BJO/NAN

The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has called off the nationwide industrial action initially scheduled to commence on November 6 to further press for workers’ demand for new national minimum wage.

The President of the NLC, Ayuba Wabba, said this on Monday night in Abuja while addressing journalists at the end of a meeting of the tripartite committee set up by government to negotiate labour’s demand.

Organised labour had threatened to commence nationwide strike on November 6 should government fail to accede to its N30,000 minimum wage demand. The federal government had offered to pay N24,000 while some state governments are even offering less.

But briefing journalists on Monday night, Mr. Wabba said, “The tripartite negotiating committee this evening concluded its assignment. Agreement has been reached and also documents have been signed. The report will be submitted to Mr. President tomorrow by 4:15pm.

“Therefore, as organised labour, we want to use this medium to thank all the tripartite partners for their understanding and importantly for concluding this very national assignment.

“And having reached this position, and also the fact that the assignment has been concluded, organised labour also decided that the proposed industrial action is hereby suspended.

“Therefore, we thought this should be communicated appropriately without also any delusion or missing information.

“As the chairperson have said, mutual agreements have been reached and this will be make public tomorrow and we must appreciate the roles that organised private sectors have actually demonstrated and the attitude brought to this process and to members of the tripartite negotiating team.”

Similarly, the chairperson of the Tripartite Committee, Amma Pepple, also noted that the assignment of the committee has been concluded.

“We are going to present our report to Mr President tomorrow at 4:15pm and he will reveal the figure that we have recommended,” she said.

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Meanwhile, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, commended members of the committee for their time and commitment to the long and tortuous negotiation processes.

“I am confident that government will give expeditious consideration of the report tomorrow by Mr President and very soon the processes will be put in place to truly actualise your recommendations so that the status of our working populace will be enhanced and they would receive appropriate and commensurate payments for the services they offer to our nation and to the different sectors of our economy,” he said.

Government and labour had been at loggerheads over the demand for a new minimum wage. Labour says the minimum wage of N18,000 is paltry and no longer acceptable.

More to come…

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