Minimum Wage: Labour may embark on fresh strike Tuesday

Minimum Wage: Labour may embark on fresh strike Tuesday

The organised Labour may embark on a nationwide strike on Tuesday over the new minimum wage.

It has firmly rejected the proposed ₦62,000 and ₦100,000 minimum wage as “starvation wages” for Nigerian workers.

During the latest meeting of the Tripartite Committee on Minimum Wage on Friday, Labour reiterated its demand for a ₦250,000 minimum wage, citing it as the only viable living wage for the average Nigerian worker.

“Our stance is unequivocal,” declared Chris Onyeka, Assistant General Secretary of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), on Channels Television’s The Morning Brief show on Monday.

He emphasised that labour would not accept the government’s offer of ₦62,000 nor the ₦100,000 proposed by certain individuals and economists.

“We have never considered accepting ₦62,000 or any wage that falls short of sustaining Nigerian workers.

We will not negotiate a starvation wage,” Onyeka stated. “₦100,000 was never on the table for us, let alone ₦62,000.

We remain steadfast at ₦250,000, which we believe is a reasonable concession to the government and other social partners. Our demand is based on market realities—the cost of everyday essentials like rice, yam, and garri.”

Onyeka stated that the one-week grace period given to the Federal Government last Tuesday, June 4, 2024, would end at midnight on Tuesday, June 11, 2024.

He mentioned that if the Federal Government and National Assembly fail to address the workers’ demands by Tuesday, the NLC and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) would convene to decide on resuming the nationwide industrial action that was temporarily halted last week.

“The Federal Government and the National Assembly need to take action now. It’s not up to us. Our demand is clear: they need to send an Executive Bill to the National Assembly, which should then consider our demands and the relevant legal facts to create a National Minimum Act that meets our requirements,” the NLC official said.

“If our demands are not met, we have given the Federal Government a one-week notice, which expires tomorrow (Tuesday). If we don’t receive a satisfactory response from the government by then, the Organised Labour bodies will meet to decide the next steps.”

When asked about the Labour’s response if the government insists on ₦62,000, he responded, “We clearly stated that we are pausing the nationwide indefinite strike. If the governing bodies of our trade unions decide to lift that pause, it means we will resume the strike as previously planned.”

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