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New minimum wage:Labour set begin nationwide strike Monday.

There are strong indications that Organised Labour may begin a nationwide strike from Monday, June 3, over a new minimum wage.

This is as the tripartite committee on a new national minimum wage, NNMW, reconvenes today, following abrupt adjournment due to labour’s walkout of last Tuesday’s meeting, where it accused government negotiators of unseriousness in the negotiation process.

Meanwhile, accusing fingers are pointing to the state governors of ganging up against the Federal Government to stall the ongoing negotiation.

Labour’s negotiating team had on Tuesday, for the second time in two weeks, walked out of the committee meeting after the Federal Government increased its offer marginally to N60,000 from the N57,000 it offered on Wednesday, May 22.

Labour, represented by the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, and its Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, counterpart, had on May 15, walked out of the tripartite committee meeting after the government offered N48,000 and Organised Private Sector, OPS, offered N54,000, against its N615,000 demand.

Meeting reconvenes

However, in a letter reconvening the meeting, Ekpo Nta, member/Secretary of the committee on behalf of the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission, NSIWC, dated May 29, said: “You are respectfully invited to attend the 7th meeting of the Tripartite Committee on National Minimum Wage which is scheduled as follows: Date: Friday, 31, May 2024

Venue: Nnamdi Azikiwe Hall, Nicon Luxury Hotel Plot 903, Tafawa Balewa Way Area 11, Garki, Abuja, Time: 10:00 am Prompt

“The minutes of the 6′ meeting and the draft agenda for the 7” meeting wil be circulated in due course.“Please note that the following ‘Zoom link’ has been provided for any member who indicates inability to be physically present to participate in the meeting.”

Organised labour sources, nonetheless, told Vanguard that a nationwide strike might start on Monday, depending on the outcome of today’s meeting.

According to the sources, organised labour is already mobilizing for a strike from Monday, June 3.
A labour leader, who spoke to Vanguard anonymously, said: “The outcome of tomorrow’s (today) will determine our next line of action. If the meeting comes out fruitful, better for everyone.

“But should government’s team continue with its carefree attitude and disdain for workers’ welfare, nothing will stop us from going on strike from Monday. We are already mobilizing for the strike.

“Everyone knows that the one-month ultimatum we gave to the government to conclude negotiations on the new national minimum wage ends tomorrow (today). We have been patient amid the hardship and mass suffering inflicted on us by the government’s anti-poor policies.

“Besides that, the issue of the minimum wage is statutory. The old Minimum Wage Act ceased to exist since April 18. We had more than six months, at least, to work on a new minimum wage.

“But the government has not been serious with issues affecting workers. Well, Nigerians can bear us witness that we have been patient with this government. If the government knows what is good for it, let its negotiators come up with something reasonable to meet workers’ expectations, otherwise, strike will be inevitable from Monday.”


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