NLC Threatens Nationwide Strike, As Labour Union Rejects N60,000 Minimum Wage

The Nigeria Labour Congress, on Tuesday, indicated that another nationwide strike might be impending as negotiation for a new minimum wage deadlocked again.

The NLC’s Deputy President of Political Commission, Prof. Theophilus Ndubuaku, spoke to newsmen at the end of Tuesday’s meeting of the tripartite committee on minimum wage, where Labour rejected the Federal Government’s fresh offer of N60,000, up from the N57,000 earlier proposed.

“This government needs to open up to Nigerians and tell us whether they have come to their wit’s end because as it is now, they don’t seem to know what to do and that means they need to tell the people what the problem is. This present situation can no longer lead us anywhere.

“It is not about just knowing what to do; they don’t have the experience to run a government of this nature.”

When asked if a strike was imminent, Ndubuaku said, “We are not going back for any negotiation again. The notice (of strike) has already been given.”

Sources familiar with discussions at the Tuesday session said the committee postponed its meeting “sine die” or indefinitely.

The Federal Government on Tuesday added a sum of N3,000 to its initially proposed N57,000 minimum wage, making it the sum of N60,000 proposed.

However, the organised labour, comprising the Trade Union Congress and the Nigeria Labour Congress, insisted on N494,000, removing N3,000 from its earlier N497,000 demand.

Speaking with one of our correspondents, a leader of the NLC, who spoke on condition of anonymity as he did not have official permission to address the press, said, “The meeting ended in a stalemate and meetings have been adjourned sine die.

“The government proposed N60,000 which was not accepted by Labour.”

Another labour leader, similarly speaking anonymously, said, “This is simply a case of ‘if they go higher, we will go lower’. They need to propose something reasonable for us to propose something lower too. There are no two ways about it.

“Also, we have a way of meeting ourselves as members of the Labour before each committee meeting. This will help us to take a uniform stand by the time we get to the meeting front. So, as long as the government is ready to present something reasonable, we will meet them in the middle.”

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