Monday, July 15, 2024

Strike may continue as labour rejects FG’s N62,000 offer

The organised labour, comprising the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), has rejected the proposed N62,000 minimum wage offer for workers.

Assistant general secretary of NLC, Chris Onyeka, who featured on Channels TV’s Morning Brief on Monday, said the union will not negotiate a ”starvation wage”.

Onyeka said if the Federal Government and National Assembly fail to act on workers’ demands by Tuesday, the Nigeria NLC and the TUC will meet to decide whether to resume the nationwide industrial action that was lifted last week.

He said: “Our position is very clear, we have never considered accepting N62,000 or any other wage that we know is below what Nigerian workers can take home. We will not negotiate a starvation wage.

“We have never contemplated N100,000 let alone of N62,000. We are still at N250,000; that is where we are, and that is what we considered enough concession to the government and the other social partners in this particular situation. We are not just driven by frivolities but also by the realities of the market place—the realities of things we buy every day: bags of rice, yam, garri, and all of that.

“The Federal Government and the national assembly have the call now. It is not our call. Our demand is there for the government to look at and send an executive bill to the national assembly and for the national assembly to look at what we have demanded, the various facts of the law, and then come up with a national minimum act that meets our demands.

“If that does not meet our demand, we have given the federal government one-week notice to look at the issues and that one week expires tomorrow. If, after tomorrow, we have not seen any tangible response from the government, the organs of the organised labour will meet to decide what to do next.

“It was clear what we said. We said we were relaxing a nationwide indefinite strike. It’s like putting a pause on it. So, if you put a pause on something and the organs that govern us as trade unions decide that we should remove that pause, it means that we go back to what was in existence before.”

Labour had called off the strike for a week after the Federal Government pleaded for negotiation following Monday’s strike which shook the country.



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