Organised labour has implored workers across the country to mobilise for prolonged strike by January 8 should the federal government fail do the needful.
President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Mr Ayuba Wabba, who made labour’s position known, urged federal government to urgently transmit the bill on the new national minimum wage to the National Assembly.
In his New Year Message released in Abuja yesterday Wabba pledged commitment to workers welfare, saying 2018 was one of the most traumatic years for workers, especially given the failure of government to enact and implement the new national minimum wage of N30,000.
“This is in spite of the unimpeachable tripartite process leading to the agreement by the social partners on the new national minimum wage. It is unfortunate that the federal government is yet to transmit to the National Assembly an executive bill for the enactment of N30,000 as the new national minimum wage.
“Government’s dilly-dallying on the issue has strained Government-Labour relations with a potential for a major national strike which could just be days away.
“Accordingly, we would use this opportunity to appeal to the Government to do the needful by urgently transmitting the bill on the new national minimum wage to the National Assembly. We also would like to use this same opportunity to urge workers to fully mobilise for a prolonged national strike and enforce their right,” he said.
Explaining that strike became the inevitable last option for labour, the NLC president called on all Nigerians and businesses to understand and support it. He, however, assured workers that their labour, patience and diligence would not be in vain.
Wabba said the NLC leadership remains committed to giving all that it takes to ensure that workers get just and fair wages in a decent work environment appropriate to their well-being. He added that the NLC leadership is similarly committed to ensuring there is social protection for workers.
“The new year presents great opportunities for workers, pensioners, civil society allies and their friends and families to put their numbers to good use. This is by voting out, not on the basis of tribe or religion but purely policy, any candidate that cannot serve their interest.
“In the year that is ahead of us, the NLC remains unequivocally committed to the national and workers’ goals which include the campaign for industrialisation, against selective enforcement of “No Work, No Pay” policy of government, among others.