Minimum Wage: Labour’s Strike Mobilisation Continues, Says NLC

 

Leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) have insisted that despite ongoing talks with the Federal Government, mobilisation for a strike action continues.

Labour leaders met with representatives of the Federal Government on Monday to deliberate on the full implementation of the new N30,000 minimum wage and the consequential adjustment of salaries for civil servants.

Addressing journalists after a two-hour meeting with the Minister of Labour and Employment in Abuja, the Deputy President of the NLC, Mr Amaechi Asugwuni stated that the labour unions will only back down if there is a consensus at the joint negotiating meeting with the FG on Tuesday.

“We believe that the meeting today will give birth to whatever you see tomorrow, but labour is prepared to take any step in driving their demands home. We believe we have done beyond the expectation, so what is needed of Government is to reciprocate in doing what is needful in appreciating their workers.

“We are talking about compensation, salary and tomorrow’s meeting is truly the benchmark for action but mobilisation continues, labour mobilization continues, tomorrow’s meeting will tell us the way forward because anything can happen,” he added.

RELATED: FG, Labour Leaders Meet Two Days To Minimum Wage Implementation Deadline

Mr Asugwuni added that the meeting showed that labour had shifted from it’s earlier position and it is only left for the government to see sense in their demands.

“The impact of today’s meeting is that we have given them the fact they need to the extent that labour will not tolerate anything short of reasonable adjustment in the ongoing negotiation.

“The consequential adjustment is a matter of percentage, certainly when you say what you want; it depends on government to see sense in what you demand, as a matter of fact, labour has shifted and we believe we have done beyond the expectation.”

Organised labour, a week ago, issued a strike notice to the Federal Government, asking the Minister of Labour to re-convene the negotiating meeting and finalize on the issues of consequential salaries adjustment for workers who are in salaries grade level seven and above.

The unions are demanding for 29 percent salary increase for officers on grade seven to 14, and 24 percent for grade 15 to 17, but the FG is proposing 11 percent for officers on grade level 7 to 14, and 6.5 percent for officers on grade level 15 to 17.

Picketing: TCN Workers Clash With Protesting TUC Members

 

Workers of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) have clashed with protesting members of the Trade Union Congress from picketing their office in Abuja.

The TUC is accusing the company of poor handling of workers’ welfare, as well as intimidation of the union members.

See Photos Below: 

 

Nigeria’s Labour Leaders Call For Mass Creation Of Decent Jobs

Nigeria’s Labour Leaders Call For Mass Creation Of Decent Jobs

 

Labour leaders in the country have called for mass creation of decent jobs for Nigerians, especially the young generation.

The leaders of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) made the call during a rally on Monday in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

They said there was a need to create decent jobs for youths in the country, noting that it would go a long way in reducing the incidences of crime.

READ ALSONLC, TUC ‘March For Jobs’ In Abuja

The labour leaders used the march as an opportunity to call government’s attention to the rising cases of unemployment, de-industrialisation of the economy, and what they described as the near-collapse of social support institutions.

They also demanded that the government increased efforts at eradicating unemployment and supporting social institutions.

The demonstrators, however, warned that mass jobs without decent remunerations would be counter-productive.

They asked employers of labour in the private and public sectors of the country to immediately begin the full implementation of the new national minimum wage.

NLC, TUC 'March For Jobs' In Abuja

 

Part of a statement signed by the Chairman of the 2019 May Day Preparatory Committee, Najeem Yasin, read, “The consequence of mass unemployment in our country, especially youth unemployment is finding expression daily on our streets and communities in the form of increasing crime wave.

“It is high time we arrested this dangerous drift before it consumes all of us. As we march today, we call on government, employers in the private sector, international development partners and local social actors to come together to plot a way out of this cauldron.

“We call on government to rehabilitate public roads, power supply, railways, inland waterways, schools, and hospitals as enabling infrastructure for mass industrialisation and mass job creation.

“Whatever the government does; now is the time to create mass decent jobs for our teeming youth.

“Mass jobs without decent remunerations would be counter-productive. We call on all employers of labour to quickly commence the implementation of the new national minimum wage of N30,000.

“The Nigeria Labour movement will keep a hawk’s eye on all employers of labour, especially state governments to ensure total compliance on the implementation of the new national minimum wage.”

The labour leaders held the march in preparation of Workers Day which is marked on May 1 annually.

The event also coincides with the centenary celebration of the existence of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

NLC, TUC ‘March For Jobs’ In Abuja

NLC, TUC 'March For Jobs' In Abuja

 

Members of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) on Monday held a rally in Abuja.

The demonstrators, in large number, marched across some major streets of the nation’s capital.

They demanded the creation of decent jobs for youths in the country and asked the government to step up efforts at eradicating unemployment.

READ ALSO: Nigeria’s Labour Leaders Call For Mass Creation Of Decent Jobs

The members noted that the march was preparatory to the commemoration of the 2019 edition of the Workers Day on May 1.

See some photos below:

States Can Pay New Minimum Wage, Says TUC

 

The President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Mr Bobboi Kaigama, has reacted to the new minimum wage recently signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Kaigama who appeared on Lunchtime Politics which aired on Channels Television on Friday said that states can meet up with the N30,000 monthly payment for the Nigerian workers if the right priorities are placed.

“We are pretty sure (that) they (states) have the political, economic will except for the fact that corruption has eaten deep into the fabrics of the state systems.

READ ALSO: UPDATED: Buhari Signs N30,000 Minimum Wage Bill Into Law

“So it will interest you to know that pin the just concluded governorship elections, so many of these states had reserved money to go out, buy voters, compromise electoral officers, compromise security (personnel) and that is why in most of the states now, they cannot pay salaries,” he stated.

President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Mr Bobboi Kaigama.

He also decried a situation whereby some governors said to be owing workers’ salaries would still source for loans, hence plunging the states into more debts.

When asked if the increase in the minimum wage would not lead to inflation and further devaluation of the nation’s currency, the TUC president stated that prices of commodities were already on the increase.

He, however, noted that if the situation deteriorates to the point that the workers cannot meet his basic needs, agitations would come up for another salary review.

“We already have inflation; we already have a devaluation of our naira. So it’s already taking a toll on the worker’s take home.

“Unless we allow it to go to the extent of the worker not even taking a single square meal, otherwise where we have inflation, devalued naira, the worker has the right to demand a corresponding increase in his salaries,” he stated.

Struggle Continues, TUC Rejects N27,000 Minimum Wage

N30,000 Struggle Continues, TUC Rejects Minimum Wage Benchmark

 

The Trade Union Congress (TUC) has insisted that the struggle for N30,000 minimum wage for workers is not over.

National President of TUC, Mr Bobboi Kaigama, disclosed this to Channels Television, hours after the National Council of State approved N27,000 as minimum wage.

He said the organised labour would resist the decision, adding that they would not entertain a renegotiation of the recommendations by the tripartite committee.

READ ALSO: National Council Of State Approves N27,000 As New Minimum Wage

Mr Kaigama added that the workers would continue their struggle for the N30,000 minimum wage at the National Assembly.

The organised labour union began the struggle for an upward review of minimum wage for workers across the country last year.

While the labour demanded N30,000, the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) agreed to review the amount but offered to pay N22,500 after a meeting in October 2018.

In November, the tripartite committee chaired by a former Head of Service of the Federation, Ms Ama Pepple, submitted a report to President Muhammadu Buhari.

But the NFG insisted that its members cannot pay the amount being demanded by the workers, noting that some states were still owing workers’ salaries.

Following a series of negotiations between the government and the labour, the Nigeria Labour Congress held a nationwide protest on January 8 to pressure the Federal Government to transmit a new minimum wage bill to the National Assembly.

The issues caught the attention of the Council of State which met today and approved N27,000 as a benchmark for minimum wage.

 

However, private and public organisations employing less than 25 workers were bounded by the N18,000 minimum wage.

The Council of State agreed that N27,000 would be the new benchmark which any lowest paid worker (that is Grade Level 1 Step 1) would get.

The amount approved by the Council was N3,000 short of the N30,000 that the Tripartite Committee on Review of National Minimum Wage recommended.

But the Federal Government has promised to increase the approved amount by N3,000 to N30,000 for its workers.

Minimum Wage: Court Stops NLC, TUC From Embarking On Strike

Minimum Wage: Court Stops NLC, TUC From Embarking On Strike
NLC leadership holds a press briefing in Abuja (file)

 

The National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) sitting in Abuja has restrained the organised labour from proceeding on its planned nationwide indefinite industrial action.

Justice Sanusi Kado gave the order on Friday while delivering a ruling on an ex-parte application restraining the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) from embarking on the strike scheduled to commence on November 6.

The judge granted the application pending the determination of the substantive suit filed by the Federal Government and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) against both unions.

Justice Sanusi also restrained the NLC, the TUC and the Incorporated Trustees of the Nigerian Governors Forum (listed as the first, second, and third defendants) from taking steps capable of destroying the subject of the dispute.

He said he was moved to granting the ex-parte application argued by the Solicitor General of the Federation (SGF), Dayo Apata, because of the likely devastating effect of the strike on the nation, its economy and the people.

The hearing of the main suit has been fixed for November 8.

The organised labour is demanding N30,000 as a new minimum wage for workers in the country, as against the existing N18,000.

Following a series of negotiations and meetings between the government and labour leaders which ended in a deadlock, the NLC and TUC threatened to embark on a fresh nationwide strike on Tuesday next week.

The unions had explained that the decision was necessary following what they described as the government’s unwillingness to implement a new minimum wage for workers in the country.

Reacting to the new minimum wage demanded by the workers, the Nigeria Governors’ Forum said most states lacked the capacity to pay such an amount.

The governors who said some of their colleagues were still struggling to pay the existing N18,000, however, agreed to pay N22,500.

This was strongly rejected by labour leaders who had insisted that there was no going back on their decision.

Minimum Wage: NLC Threatens Fresh Industrial Action November 6

NLC, Tax, Nigeria
File photo: NLC President, Ayuba Wabba

 

The organized labour comprising of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), has threatened to embark on a fresh nationwide industrial action on November 6.

According to the groups they will be protesting over what they describe as the government’s unwillingness to implement a new minimum wage for workers.

In the statement jointly signed by the leaders of the two labour centers, they accused the Federal Government of deliberately refusing to forward the resolutions of the tripartite committee.

They claimed that after series of negotiations, the committee had reached a consensus for a minimum wage of N30,000 but the Federal Government has failed to take further necessary actions.

According to the statement, the organized labour will proceed on the nationwide strike action, if the Federal Government refuses to take the necessary actions on the resolutions which they describe as a done deal.

The organized labour and the Federal Government have been enmeshed in serious debates over a new wage structure for workers.

This has led to several industrial actions, with the government threatening to enforce a “no work, no pay” policy for the workers.

The Nigeria Governors Forum, on the other hand, has stated that although the governors are not against a new wage structure for workers, some states lack the capacity to pay.

Oshiomhole Assures TUC Of Buhari’s Commitment To Improve Minimum Wage

National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Adams Oshiomhole

 

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole says President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration is committed to the implementation of an improved National Minimum Wage for Nigerian workers.

Oshiomhole gave this assurance to a delegation of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) led by its President, Bobboi Bala Kaigama and a delegation of Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) led by the President Ayuba Wabba which paid a solidarity visit to the Party’s National Secretariat in Abuja.

“The trade union movement and the working class represent part of the constituency that President Buhari believes in. If you hear any voice within the APC family talking in a way as to suggest that President Buhari’s government will superintend over the abolition of the National Minimum Wage, that will be the individual’s wishful thinking.

“President Muhammadu Buhari will not dismantle any of the gains that the working class has achieved over the years.

“Even at a time many people were calling for the abolition of the National Minimum Wage, President Buhari decided to set up a panel to review upward the existing National Minimum Wage.”

READ ALSO: PDP Demands Adeosun’s Immediate Sack, Arraignment

The APC National Chairman expressed his resolve to use his position to influence government policies in a way that will benefit the Nigerian worker.

Oshiomhole also said President Buhari remained committed to worker’s welfare, the fight against corruption and the unity of the country, despite resistance from a section of the political elite.

“My understanding of the Nigerian condition is deepened by the fact that I had the opportunity as a factory worker and an industrial union leader and later as President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC). I am very proud when people acknowledge that what qualifies me for the present position is the rich trade union background where I was able to manage a pan-Nigeria institution and mobilise the people for a good course without recourse to ethnic, religious and primordial sentiments.

“I am very proud of those values that I had to imbibe as a union leader. I also want to thank you for the leadership you are providing for the labour movement at this time.”

On his part, the TUC President, Bobboi Bala Kaigama assured the APC National Chairman of TUC’s support and cooperation, he described Oshiomhole as a bridge-builder.

“We are from your primary constituency and as a movement when one of us is opportune to be elevated to a position of what we call national service, we need to really congratulate you, identify with you and to show you that the Labour movement is one, indivisible.

“The movement is solidly behind you. We do know that you have been elected to your current position based on the fact that you have an organisational background and that organisational background is the trade union background where we organise and mobilise for the betterment of the nation.

“And if one of us can be given the opportunity of being the national chairman of a governing party, it shows that we have a bridge-builder in government.”

Kaigama congratulated Oshiomole on his new appointment noting that as an ambassador of the labour movement, he will continue to perform his role and duty.

NLC, TUC Endorse Ayade For Second Term

Ayade Hopeful Nigeria Will Overcome Challenges
File photo

 

The joint body of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) has endorsed the Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade for a second term in office.

For both congresses, it is a way of consolidating his achievements by ensuring workers receives their salaries in advance.
The (NLC), Comrade John Ushie, commended the Ayade-led administration for the ongoing projects embarked upon and those completed.

According to Comrade Ushie, in less than three years into his administration, Governor Ben Ayade has embarked on many developmental projects across the State which seemed impossible to achieve.

Some of the projects include the Garment Factory, the Calapharm, the Rice City, the Independent Power Plant, the Deep Sea Port, haulage city and Banana Plantation.

Other projects include The construction of a rice mill, Cocoa processing plant, the British/ Canadian College, Teachers continuous training city among a host of others.

These projects and more the joint body attests are true testimonies of the Governor’s desire to change the destiny of the State from a civil service economy to an industrialized one which is capable of generating jobs and revenues to run the State.

For Governor Ben Ayade, his administration irrespective of the lean resources within its control will continue to focus on human-driven projects to decouple the State from over-reliance on Federal allocation as he receives more equipment for setting up more factories in the State.

Oyo Workers Commence Three-Day Warning Strike

Ajimobi Condoles With Olubadan On Wife’s Death
File photo: Abiola Ajimobi

The three Labour centres in Oyo state which includes the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Joint Negotiating Council (JNC) have directed workers in the state to stay off their duty posts for three days, starting from today, January 24.

Commencing the three-day warning strike today, the group demands that the state government addresses the 13 weeks old strike by the state-owned tertiary institutions, the sack of 256 members of staff of Ladoke Akintola University Teaching Hospital (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, lingering complaints of workers in the health sector as presented by the Joint Health Sector Union, among other issues.

Other issues that prompted the strike the group said include the unpaid pensions and gratuities of retired primary school teachers accumulating to 56 months, and stall in workers’ promotion since 2010.

READ ALSO: Four Die, Six Injured In Ibadan Multiple Car Accident

NLC Chairman, Waheed Olojede, who spoke alongside Chairman, JNC/TUC, Mr Emmanuel Ogundiran, and JAC executives of the tertiary institutions, told journalists that the state government had shown continued insensitivity to the plight of workers of the state’s tertiary institutions who were owed 17 months salaries.

Olojede then asked the state government to rescind its decision to sack 256 members of staff of LAUTECH teaching hospital, noting the woes, hardship experienced by the sacked workers.

He added that the workers were directed to stay at home in solidarity with other affected workers to include those working in the service of local government owed salaries.

 

May Day: Workers To Renew Call For Minimum Wage Increase

As workers across the country gear up for the May Day celebration, labour leaders say the workers will once again use the opportunity to demand an increase in minimum wage and payment of salary arrears, among others.

According to the secretary of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Peter Ozo-Eson and the leader of the United Labour Congress, Joe Ajaero, an N18,000 minimum wage means many Nigerians are not able to put food the table.

“If we are receiving N18,000 as minimum wage in an economy where the dollar is exchanging at par with the naira, I bet you nobody will even come out and say his is asking for an increase in minimum wage,” Ajaero said.

“But we are receiving N18,000 at a time that you can’t pay house rent, in fact, electricity bill is more than N18,000.”

He argued that the poor wage being paid to workers was part of the reasons why the country is in a recession.

“Because if you don’t pay good wage, you can’t revive the economy,” he added.

Ozo-Eson said the workers will also use the May Day celebrations to protest against state governors owing months of salaries and pensions.

He said, “There are a number of issues on the table and we do understand that workers will use this opportunity to also ventilate their views on those issues.

“Among them are of course the issues of salary arrears and pensions. And workers clearly will come to demonstrate against those governors who have not managed their affairs properly and are owing several months of salaries and pensions.”