Labour Leaders Shun Meeting With The Federal Government

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has refused to enter any negotiation with the government on a minimum wage for workers. The NLC, which is one of the major representative body for workers, made this announcement on Sunday, and even declared that workers will commence a nationwide strike on Tuesday.

This information was disclosed by the General Secretary of the NLC, Peter Ozo-Eson during an interview with News outlets on Sunday. He said, “The strike is going on. Nothing has changed. The strike will begin on Tuesday.

That is the directive that has been given. It will be a total strike.” When asked if oil workers will join the strike, Ozo-Eson disclosed that all trade unions have agreed to go on strike, and they expect every union to follow the directive on Tuesday.

On negotiations between the Government and the Congress, Ozo-Eson said, “Negotiations have ended. Yes, we have a meeting of the tripartite committee on Monday and we will attend as long as it is to sign the report of what has been agreed. We will sign that so that it can be submitted to the government . We will not change our position”

The organized Labour unions had collectively demanded that the minimum wage be increased from N18, 000 to N65, 000 before settling at a consensus of N30, 000 after a year of negotiations.

However, the government declared N24, 000 as the minimum wage, a move which compounded the issue and caused the union to declare strike. The crisis deepened when the Governors Forum decided on N22,500 as the minimum wage

When reminded about the Union had been barred from embarking on a strike by the National Industrial Court, the General Secretary said the union has not been served with the court papers and was therefore not aware of any development.

On Sunday, the Abuja union of the NLC shunned a meeting called by the federal government in a bid to stop the impending strike.

Despite the refusal of the unions to attend the meeting, government officials had a close door meeting with members of the private sector at the Office of the Secretary of the Federation with Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige; Secretary of the Federation, Boss Mustapha; Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed; and some permanent secretaries. Mr. Mustapha said the tripartite committee set up by the government will complete their reports by Monday.

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