Government offices, banks and petrol stations will be shut from tomorrow as organised labour, comprising the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and United Labour Congress (ULC), commences a warning strike to press home their demand for the implementation of a new minimum wage.
However, there are chances that the government may avert the strike if it meets the deadline given to it by labour, which ends today.
There are strong indications that the federal government may call the leadership of the workers for negotiation today, a situation, which is likely to halt the strike.
LEADERSHIP recalls that the workers had two weeks ago issued a 14- day ultimatum to the federal government to immediately take actions and ensure a speedy implementation of the new minimum wage. The workers accused the government of stalling the work of the committee negotiating the new minimum wage
It would be recalled that minister of labour and employment, Chris Ngige, had given assurances that the federal government would conclude its consultations on time to meet the NLC deadline.
But a letter by NLC general secretary, Dr Peter Ozo-Esson, directed all industrial unions and NLC state councils to mobilise their members to commence the strike.
The letter reads, “This is to inform you that the organised labour shall commence nation-wide warning strike in respect of the non-implementation of the National Minimum Wage effective from midnight of Wednesday, September, 26, 2018.
“All industrial unions and all state councils are to commence mobilisation immediately for an effective strike action nation-wide.”
Also, the Trade Union Congress (TUC) yesterday in Abuja insisted that organised labour would commence strike from Thursday morning following federal government’s failure to honour its ultimatum on the new minimum wage.
A statement signed by Mr Musa-Lawal Ozigi, TUC secretary general, stated that the decision to embark on strike was sequel to the resolve of the Central Working Committee (CWC) of TUC on September 24.
Ozigi said that following the mandate of the CWC the TUC leadership would take all necessary action to effect the ultimatum on the new minimum wage in collaboration with other stakeholders.
“Strike is hereby declared to commence from early hours of Thursday, September 27, 2018,” the TUC scribe said.
LEADERSHIP, however, gathered that government has been making frantic efforts to prevent the strike.
The chairman of the Tripartite Committee on the new National Minimum Wage, Ms Amal Pepple, had on Thursday said that government was interested in resolving the minimum wage issue as quickly as possible. “We do not want strike and I am sure that even the federal government does not want strike, and also Nigerians. So, we pray that everything will be resolved before then so that labour does not have to embark on any strike,” she said.
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