The last has definitely not been heard in the demand for a new mimunum wage for Nigerian workers as the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has served a formal notice to the Federal Government, of plans by its members to go on an indefinite strike from November 6th if the N30,000 new national minimum wage being proposed is not adopted.
Rising from its National Executive Council meeting in Abuja yesterday, the leadership of the Labor unions said the Federal government must adopt the new minimum wage, adding that workers would not be intimidated by any threat of “no work, no pay” policy by the Federal government. Minister of Employment, Chris Ngige had recently stated that the Federal government had proposed N24, 000 minimum wage which has been rejected by the unions.
The labour unions accused the Minister of Labour and Employment of putting up an anti-labour and anti-workers disposition. With reference to the recent policy of no work and no pay enacted by the Federal government, the NLC said the Federal government is gradually drawing Nigerians back to the Abacha days when workers were denied their rights to protest any inhumane action.
The communique signed by the NLC President, Ayuba Wabba and General Secretary, Dr. Peter Ozo-Eson, argued that fixing of tenure for workers holding union executive positions in contravention of the provisions of ILO Convention 87; and the prohibition or exclusion of non-card carrying members of trade unions from leading or being part of negotiation delegations of trade unions were reminiscent of the Abacha military era.
The labour leaders said as part of efforts to address these ”anormalies” they would organise a national day of mobilisation and sensitisation rallies for workers to show their outrage and mourning in the 36 states of the federation and FCT on Tuesday November 6th.
The day, according to NLC NEC, will also be used to educate and sensitise Nigerians on the plight of workers and pensioners, the insensitivity and duplicity of government on labour issues, and to protest the proposed obnoxious policies of government against organised labour.