Federal Government on Wednesday unveiled plans to hold crucial meeting with the leadership of the three labour centres as part of efforts geared toward averting the nationwide strike over the non-implementation of the N30,000 new minimum wage.

Those expected at the meeting are: Ayuba Wabba, President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC); Peter Ozo-Eson, NLC General Secretary; Boiboi Kaigama, President, Trade Union Congress (TUC); Joe Ajaero, President, United Labour Congress (ULC) and leaders of key affiliate unions of the three labour centres.

According to the notice issued by Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, the meeting is scheduled for Friday, 4th January, 2019.

The meeting was called at the instance of Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment.

The notice read: “Towards nipping in the bud threat of national industrial action by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) over the transmission of the New National Minimum Wage to the National Assembly.

The Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment Sen. Chris Ngige is scheduled to hold a meeting with the Executives of the Organised Labour Union as follows: Date: Friday 4th January 2019; Venue: Conference Room of the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment, Second Floor Phase 1 Federal Secretariat, Abuja; Time: 10:30am Prompt.

Recall that the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) through its spokesman, Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo had on Monday, argued that the State Governors cannot afford to pay the proposed N30,000 new minimum wage.

Bello-Barkindo said that the Governors had offered workers a token increment of N22,500 from the current N18,000, after the submission of the report of the Tripartite Committee on 6th October, 2018.

He added that the N22,500 was arrived at after extensive deliberations among all 36 Governors.

Bello-Barkindo maintained that the Governors also arrived at the decision after outlining their financial capacities and liquidity, considering the economic situation of the country and the states’ other obligations.

In his new year message, the NLC President argued that the nationwide strike scheduled for 8th January, 2019 became inevitable.

Wabba who described year 2018 as most traumatic for Nigerian workers, especially given the failure of government to enact and implement the new national minimum wage of N30,000, urged Federal Government to take necessary steps to avert another industrial action.
“It is unfortunate that the Federal Government is yet to transmit to the National Assembly an Executive bill for the enactment of N30,000 as the new national minimum wage. Government’s dilly-dallying on the issue has strained Government -Labour relations with a potential for a major national strike which could just be days away.
“Accordingly, we would use this opportunity to appeal to the Government to do the needful by urgently transmitting the bill on the new national minimum
wage to the National Assembly.
“We also would like to use this same opportunity to urge workers to fully mobilize for a prolonged national strike and enforce their right. This strike action becomes the inevitable last option for us and we crave the understanding and support of all Nigerians and businesses.
“We would want to assure workers that their labour, patience and diligence will not be in vain and that this leadership remains committed to giving all that it takes to ensure that they get just and fair wages due to them in a decent work environment appropriate to their well-being.
“This leadership is similarly committed to ensuring there is social protection for workers. The new year presents great opportunities for workers, pensioners, civil society allies and their friends and families to put their numbers to good use by voting out not on the basis of tribe or religion but purely policy any candidate who cannot serve their interest.”

FG initiates reconciliation with labour leaders on new minimum wage


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