- The NLC said it is ready to go on strike on January 8
- The union blamed the government for the looming strike
- The NLC vowed not to go lower than the proposed N30,000 minimum wage
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has asked Nigerians to blame the Muhammadu Buhari-led government for the looming strike over the N30,000 minimum wage.
The Punch reports that the NLC has frowned at President Buhari’s proposed establishment of a technical committee to look into the minimum wage issue.
It said the only recognised panel was the tripartite committee that had already submitted its report on the minimum wage.
In a communiqué issued on Friday, December 21, the union said it would embark on a nationwide strike on January 8, 2019 over what it described as the “Federal Government’s delay in transmitting, enacting and implementing a new national minimum wage of N30,000 for workers.”
Peter Ozo-Eson who is the general-secretary of the NLC said the workers would not accept anything lower than N30,000.
He said: “After the statement we issued on the coming industrial strike, we have not heard anything from the Presidency. The day we submitted the report, he (Buhari) promised that he would speedily transmit a draft bill to the National Assembly; but till today, about two months after, he has not transmitted that to the National Assembly.
“What we heard during the budget presentation at the National Assembly is that a high-powered technical committee will be set up. We find that very unfortunate because the technical committee in relation to minimum wage is the tripartite committee that has finished its work and made recommendations.
“Talking of any committee, be it low-powered, medium-powered or high-powered at this stage is unacceptable to us. We formally reject it and call on Mr President to send the bill to the National Assembly. The ultimatum we gave is for the bill to be sent to the NASS. The House took a resolution calling on the President to bring the bill; what is the difficulty he is having? If he cannot do it, nobody should hold organised labour in the country responsible for the industrial chaos that is likely to follow.”
He also lashed out at governors for their lavish expenditure saying the NLC was not blackmailing them as they claimed.
“The minimum wage issue is not a partisan issue. It is one of the issues that will determine the next elections. Workers are not slaves; politics is about interest and seeking one’s own interest. If workers in their states are saying that they will not vote for them because they have not taken care of their interest, you don’t call that blackmail. I have a different name for it; that is democracy. That is how democracy works. They can go and mourn till high heaven; we will continue to work in that direction.”
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Meanwhile, Isaac Gbadero, the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Sabongari, Zaria, Kaduna state, on Tuesday,December 25, advocated a slash in political office holders’ remuneration to comfortably accommodate the N30,000 minimum wage demanded by organised labour.
Gbadero made the call in a message to the Christian faithful in commemoration of the 2018 Christmas, shortly after Christmas Church Service in Zaria, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
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Minimum Wage: Is N30,000 Too Much for FG to Pay Workers? - Nigeria Street Gist | Legit TV