Minimum Wage: Labour commences serious mobilization

• ASCSN calls meeting of state/unit chairmen, Secretaries and Treasurers

Preparatory to the looming strike action over the non-implementation of the new national minimum wage with its consequential adjustment, Labour will commence serious mobilization of its members and workers on Wednesday.

Already, the leading union under the Trade Union Side (TUS) of the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council (JNPSNC), the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) has summoned all its unit chairmen, Secretaries and Treasurers in the Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs), to an emergency meeting in Abuja to commence “serious mobilization.”

The ASCSN has also sent a circular titled: “Mobilization for nation-wide strike,” to all its states secretaries, directing them to “liaise with the Joint Council, the TUC, and the NLC officials on your state of coverage to start serious mobilisation to ensure that the strike is successful,” if the government eventually allowed it to commence.

The organised labour resolved to commence this mobilisation, as the Federal Government, has also moved swiftly to summoned the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the Trade Union Council (TUC), the JNPSNC and the ASCSN to a crucial meeting by 11 a.m on Wednesday.

The meeting, which was called at the instance of the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, was initially scheduled for Tuesday but was shifted till 11 a.m on Wednesday at the instance of ASCSN leadership.

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Tribune Online learnt that the FG, Labour meeting is intended to soften the ground before the major negotiation meeting expected to hold thereafter under the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council (JNPSNC), involving both the Government and Trade Union sides.

“The Minister has called for informal consultation, which was supposed to be by 11 am on Tuesday but shifted till 11 Wednesday. He wants to meet NLC, TUC, JNPSNC, Association, arising from the emergency Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting held on Monday.” a high-level source hinted Tribune Online.

Despite the move by the Federal Government, labour has resolved to commence full mobilization for strike action.

An invitation to all the unit chairmen, secretaries, and treasures of the ASCSN in MDAs in Abuja read: “You are hereby invited to attend the meeting and a press briefing on stalled negotiation of the consequential adjustment in respect of the new national minimum wage including the directives by the leadership of TUC, NLC and the Joint Council to commence serious mobilization preparatory to the looming strike action.

“Unit chairmen, Secretaries and Treasurers in all the MDAs are also invited to the emergency meeting organised by the ASCSN. Please, endeavor to attend.”

Also, a circular from the Secretary-General, ASCSN, Comrade Alade Bashir Lawal with titled “Mobilization for nation-wide strike,” was sent to all state secretaries.

The circular, in possession of Tribune Online, reads: “As you are no doubt aware, the negotiation for Consequential Adjustment arising from the N30,000 monthly national minimum wage signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari on 18th April, 2019 has been deadlocked.

“Consequently, organised Labour under the auspices of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), the Nigeria Labour Congress(NLC), and the Trade Union Side of the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council (JNPSNC) has given the Federal Government up till Wednesday 16th October, 2919 to reconvene the meeting of the Consequential Adjustment Committee to enable it conclude negotiation on the Consequential Adjustment arising from the approved N30,000 monthly National minimum wage, failing which a nation-wide strike will commence.

“You are, therefore, directed to liaise with the Joint Council, the TUC, and the NLC officials on your state of coverage to start serious mobilisation to ensure that the strike, if allowed to take place, will be a huge success. It must be emphasized that this is the last opportunity Labour leaders at every level have to co-operate and ensure that the current slave-wage imposed on Nigerian workers is improved upon.

“Please find attached the joint press statement issued by the, TUC, the NLC, and the TUS of the JNPSNC as well as the letter sent to the Secretary of the Government of the Federation (SGF) by the three groups on the issue for your perusal. Treat as urgent.”

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