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Why We Are Embarking On Indefinite Strike – Organised Labour

“Nigerian workers, who are the backbone of our nation’s economy, deserve fair and decent wages that reflect the current economic realities,” the labour leaders stated.

Organised Labour, on Friday, announced its decision to embark on an indefinite nationwide industrial action on Monday, 3 June over the failure of the Federal Government to conclude and pass into law a new national minimum wage Act, and its refusal to reverse the electricity tariff hike from N225/kwh to N65/kwh.

At a joint press conference held in Abuja, shortly after exiting the FG’s meeting on the negotiation of a new minimum wage, Presidents of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Joe Ajaero and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), Festus Osifo, said Friday’s meeting with government representatives further demonstrated the unseriousness and apparent contempt with which the Nigerian state holds the demands of Nigerian workers and people.

They lamented the situation whereby no ‘big personality’ was present on the side of the government with the appropriate authority to commit to any outcome, saying that it was indicative that the government abandoned the meeting.

The labour leadership specifically noted that no governor was present at the meeting, just as ministers were absent except the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, who doubles as a conciliator.

“We consider this disdainful and shows a lack of commitment to a successful national minimum wage negotiation exercise,” the leaders said.

As a result, the trade unions announced the decision to proceed with an indefinite nationwide industrial action, which they stressed was predicated on the persistent demonstration of unseriousness by the government.

“This is based on the failure to conclude national minimum wage negotiation, while the Nigerian state has neither fixed nor passed a new national minimum wage Act as demanded,”
 they added.

The labour leaders alleged that there had been no significant progress or commitment from the government despite the ultimatum issued on 1 May, 2024.

Addressing the electricity tariff hike, the labour leaders alleged that the government had refused to reverse the hike from N225/kwh to N65/kwh as demanded and refused to consult stakeholders before the tariff increase.

“We demanded a stoppage of the apartheid categorisation of consumers into Bands. We carried out a nationwide one-day protest on the 13th May 2024, giving the government until the last day of this month to take action but the government has not entirely shown any positive response despite the national outrage at this insensitive hike.

“Nigerian workers, who are the backbone of our nation’s economy, deserve fair and decent wages that reflect the current economic realities. It is disheartening that despite our repeated calls and the clear ultimatum issued, the government continues to neglect its responsibility to the workforce. It has, rather than engage in a dialogue, persistently raised its attack dogs to seek to denigrate and intimidate trade union leaders,” they said.

The labour unions stressed the need for the government to prioritise the people’s welfare at all times.

They noted that the electricity tariff hike had worsened the living conditions of citizens, denying them the right to decent lives.

In light of its unmet demands, the unions issued a notice of commencement of an indefinite nationwide strike to the Federal Government.

They called on all their affiliates and state councils, civil society organisations (CSOs), 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. The welfare of Nigerian workers and people is non-negotiable, and we are ready to take all necessary steps to ensure that their rights are protected and their voices heard,” the leaders added.

Source:- Premiumtimesng

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