Minimum wage: NLC directs members, state councils to be ready for strike

The Organised Labour has intensified mobilization for a nationwide strike over the Federal Government failure to commence full implementation of the new minimum wage, as the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), has directed its members and state councils across the country to mobilize and be ready for the strike after Wednesday deadline.

The congress, in a circular sent to all it’s state councils, the NLC directed the state chairmen and secretaries to coordinate preparations with the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Union (JNPSNU) in their respective state for industrial action if the time expires without an agreement reached with the government.

The circular, signed by the General Secretary of the NLC, Comrade Emmanuel Ugboaja read: “You will recall that a joint Communique… said industrial harmony could not be guaranteed in the country should an agreement not be reached with the Federal Government on the Consequential Adjustment of Salaries as a result of the New National Minimum Wage of N30,000.

”You are hereby directed to coordinate preparations with TUC and JPSNC in your State for necessary industrial action should the time expire without an agreement as contained in the communique.”

However, in a swift reaction last night, the Minister of Labour, Sen. Chris Ngige reminded the Labour of the provisions of the extant Labour law and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) convention, as they affected strike and negotiation.

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In a reaction sent to our correspondent and signed by the Special Adviser, Media to the Minister, Nwachukwu Obidiwe, the Minister warned the NLC and TUC not to go against the provisions of the ILO statutes and the Labour law.

He said: “The Minister has in exercise of powers conferred on him as the chief conciliator, apprehended the trade dispute and conciliation is on-going.

“The leadership of the NLC and TUC knows full well, the laws as well as the provisions of the ILO statutes on the current situation. I do not think they will wish to go against these elaborate provisions by taking to action while the conciliation is on.

“So, the Minister will continue his efforts tomorrow (today), being Monday with separate meetings with labour and government side and joint conclusive meetings for Tuesday.”

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