Labour threatens of looming national strike over minimum wage

Leaders of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, and its Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, counterpart, have written to the Secretary to the Government of Federation, SGF, Mr. Boss Mustapha, expressing displeasure over the stalemate in the negotiation on the consequential adjustment of salaries arising from the N30, 000 new minimum wage.

Recall that the meeting of the consequential negotiating committee deadlocked earlier in the month following what the labour side of the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council, claimed that “the Government side is only prepared to pay peanuts to workers as adjustment under the pretext that it will soon be undertaking general salary review in the Public Service.”

In a petition by NLC President and his TUC counterpart, Ayuba Wabba, and Quadri Olaleye, respectively, the labour leaders urged the SGF to save the nation from another round of industrial unrest by doing “all that is necessary to ensure that the meeting of the Committee is reconvened with NLC and TUC.”

The petition read in part: “We bring to you the warm compliments of the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress as well as wish to refer you to the letter of the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council dated 16/07/19 and referenced JNPSNC/TUS/VOL.V/402 on the stalemated discussion between the Council and Government on the relativity/consequential adjustment of salaries arising from the national minimum wage of N30,000 per month. We wish to express our concern and dismay about this needless stalemate.

“We would wish to commence this letter by first commending Mr President for setting up this committee in which we all had the confidence to expeditiously work out the modalities for relativity and any other consequential effect that may arise from the new national minimum wage. Our optimism was hinged on the fact that this would not be the first time we would be having this type of committee.

“We are however worried by this stalemate, and must, in all honesty, point out that what the government is offering is far too small to be acceptable. We recall that in the immediate past exercise, 53 per cent relativity was used across the board. The resort therefore to unnecessary obduracy by the government’s team is neither helpful nor reflective of precedence.” Vanguard