The Leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has threatened to embark on strike over unnecessary delay in constituting a tripartite Committee to negotiate the new minimum wage for Nigerian Workers.
The NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, disclosed this in a statement issued on Wednesday and obtained by The Tide after the NLC National Gender Conference and Election of the Leadership of National Women’s Commission held in Abuja on Wednesday.
Wabba said that the NLC’s 4th Delegates Conference on Gender has as its theme “Consolidating the Gains of Gender Mainstreaming in the trade union”.
The NLC boss alleged that the current administration is dragging its feet in constituting a tripartite Committee to negotiate a new minimum wage, stressing that against the background of the harsh economic times and the impact on the working Population, the NLC cannot wait indefinitely for government to respond at its own time.
He said that although Labour had been told by the President Buhari led Administration that the panel will be constituted the organised labour enjoin the government to urgently sort out whatever constraints it is facing and set up the tripartite committee in the overall interest of the Nigerian workers and industrial peace.
Wabba said that the Federal government must act on the matter before labour is forced to take actions that may affect the nation in an unpleasant way, adding that labour had submitted a request for an upward review of the National Minimum wage signed into law in 2011 by former administration of President Goodluck Jonathan.
The Labour leader explained that the present administration in spite of the fact that the minimum wage was due for renegotiation after five years had yet to constitute the committee, stressing that it was no longer news that the country was in severe recession and prices of virtually all essential consumables and non-consumable items had increased, inflationary trend in the economy has gone over the roof, the masses, the salaried and the teeming millions of the unemployed are facing very difficult times.
He stressed that amidst these difficulties, the organised labour has contended with a number of state priorities and have regularly refused to pay workers in their payrolls their salaries as at when due.
The NLC’s President, explained further that over the last 15 months labour has consistently pressurized these state governments to pay up all outstanding wages and pension liabilities they owe workers.
Stories by Philip Okparaji