Responding to reports that the organised labour may go on a nationwide strike for the full implementation of the new minimum wage, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) said it habours no such plans. President of the NLC, Mr Ayuba Wabba, in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday, said the congress would apply all available means to resolve disputes in the country.
According to him, before the union embarks on any mass action or street protest, the issue(s) in contestation will be debated by the appropriate organs of the Congress. “We would wish to inform our members and affiliate unions, civil society allies and the general public that the Nigeria Labour Congress is neither organising nor getting associated with any mass action or street protest over any issue in any part or every part of the country in the days ahead. “Similarly, the decision to do a mass action or any form of protest is usually taken by those organs. “Accordingly, we wish to state unambiguously that neither has such an issue arisen nor a debate for a mass action taken place, let alone a decision to proceed on a mass action. He, however, said the Congress respects the right of the citizenry to freely associate and hold an opinion, and to peacefully protest against any policy or policies with which they disagree.
NAN recalls that organised labour had considered the option of a staggered implementation of the minimum wage as being “devisive”. A statement from the Salaries and Wages Commission had said that the payment of the N30, 000 minimum wage would be implemented in percentages across grade levels of civil servants. It disclosed that only federal civil servants who earn less than N30, 000 monthly would benefit from the implementation immediately.
The statement added that federal civil servants who earn N30, 000 and above would still get their salaries adjusted after the negotiations with the unions. A fresh negotiation, which was held Thursday in Abuja, got stuck as both parties failed to agree on wage percentage. The deadlock has also delayed the payment of the N30, 000 to junior workers in the Federal Civil Service. The two parties have decided to reconvene for talks between Aug. 14 and Aug. 15. (NAN)