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Labour declares indefinite strike over minimum wage, electricity tariff hike

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) have declared an indefinite strike over the federal government’s refusal to increase the minimum wage from N60,000.

Confirming the development to TheCable, Ben Ukpa, NLC spokesperson, said the planned strike is expected to kick off on June 3.

“The strike is because of the government’s refusal to increase the minimum wage and also their refusal to reverse the electricity tariff hike,” Ukpa said.

The organised labour had given the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and the federal government an ultimatum of May 31 to reverse the electricity tariff hike.

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On April 3, NERC approved an increase in the electricity tariff for customers in the Band A classification—from N66 to N225 per kwh.

The tariff hike attracted public outcry and calls for its reversal.

The labour unions had also given a May 31 ultimatum for the federal government to finalise the new national minimum wage fixing process for workers.

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So far, the federal government has proposed a minimum wage of N48,000, N54,000, and most recently, N60,000.

The NLC and TUC rejected all proposals and insisted on N615,500, which they demanded citing the high cost of living.

In a statement announcing the industrial action on Friday, the labour unions said it is disheartening that the government has neglected its responsibility to the workforce despite repeated calls and warnings.

“In light of this persistent inaction, we, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), hereby issue a notice of commencement of an indefinite nationwide strike to the Federal Government,” the statement reads.

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“We reiterate that since the national minimum wage negotiation exercise has not been concluded and the agreed wage passed into law, the hike in electricity tariff not reversed and categorization of consumers into Bands not stopped as demanded; Nigerian workers are compelled by these failures to embark on an indefinite nationwide industrial action beginning on Monday, the 3rd of June, 2024 to press home our demands.

“The NLC and TUC are united in this cause, and we call on all our affiliates and state Councils, Civil Society Organizations, market men and women and the general populace to prepare for a decisive action. We cannot and will not accept any further delays or excuses.”

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