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Minimum wage: Labour threatens nationwide strike from Oct 16

Minimum wage: Labour threatens nationwide strike from Oct 16
October 03
12:22 2019

Labour unions in the country have threatened to embark on a nationwide strike from October 16 if deliberations on minimum wage adjustments do not resume.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) made this known at a meeting with the trade union arm of the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council (JNPSNC) in Abuja, on Wednesday.

In a statement jointly signed by Ayuba Wabba, NLC president, Quadri Olaleye, TUC president, and Simon Anchaver, acting chairman of JNPSNC, the unionists said they have demonstrated restraint and patience with the government.

They warned that labour would “not guarantee industrial harmony” if their demands are not met.

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They noted that labour had to moderate its initial position of having 66.6% upward salary adjustment for workers on salary grade level 07-17 by accepting downward adjustment of 29% for officers on salary levels 07-14 and 24% adjustment for officers on salary grade levels 15-17.

The unionists said workers had been forced to suffer “huge inflation and astronomical hike” in the prices since the last minimum wage adjustment.

“Despite this patriotic gesture, the government has kept insisting that it can only pay 11% for officers on grade levels 07-14 and 6.5%consequential wage increase to public workers for officers on levels 15-17, ” the statement said.

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“Of recent, the Value Added Tax (VAT) has been reviewed from 5 per cent to 7.2%.

“The nonchalant attitude of the government negotiating side has dragged negotiations for consequential wages adjustment unduly.

“The offer by the government for salary adjustment of 11% for public workers on salary grade levels 07–14 and 6.5% consequential increase for public workers on grade levels 15–17 is not acceptable to Nigerian workers.

“We view the position of government as a show of insensitivity to the general plight of workers and an attempt to collect with the left hand what government has offered with the right hand.

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“We demand the reconvening of the meeting of the committee negotiating the consequential adjustment with a view to concluding the process that started on May 28 within one week.

“We demand immediate implementation of the signed agreement on consequential adjustment of public workers’ salaries with effect from April 18 when the new national minimum wage of N30,000 per month was signed into law. ”

The new minimum wage bill was signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari on April 18.

However, the minimum wage has not been implemented because FG and labour unions have failed to reach an agreement on the adjustment of salaries.

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