Minimum Wage: Proposed Nationwide Strike Designed To Fail – ULC

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The United Labour Congress (ULC) has described the proposed industrial action planned by organised labour following the ultimatum issued for the full implementation of the new minimum wage, and the consequential adjustments of salaries for civil servants as a failure.

The ULC in a statement issued by its President, Joe Ajaero, added that the labour centre will not be a part of the exercise that ‘makes a mockery of the genuine struggle by Nigerian workers’.

In series of meetings this week, representatives of the organised labour made up of the Nigeria Labour Congress, the Trade Union Congress and the Federal Government have failed to reach an agreement on percentage increase in salary for civil servants from levels 7 to 17.

READ ALSO: Minimum Wage: Labour, FG Fail To Reach Agreement

“Nigerian workers cannot be forced to negotiate from a position of weakness as in this case? Why would we want to go into a nation-wide strike without mobilizing all the national stakeholders and Civil Society organisations such as Market women, Students, faith-based organisations, Community Associations etc? Why the concerted effort to ensure that the critical sectors that would make for a successful strike are consciously sidelined?

“Obviously, the proposed nation-wide strike is designed to fail or at best watered down to achieve nothing but to bring few Nigerian workers on the street to dance and wave flags without shutting down the economy which is the effect a nation-wide strike ought to have. Markets will be open, Road, Maritime and Air transports will work, Filling stations and Depots will operate, banks will work and generally, the economy will go about its business as if nothing has happened so, where is the effect of such action? he asked.

According to Ajaero, the minimum wage increase which the ULC was a part of at the initial stage has been subjected to ‘abuse and battering’, and Nigerian workers should not be forced to negotiate from a position of weakness.

“We were part of the 16-Man Technical Committee that gave birth to the Tripartite Committee on the Review of the National Minimum Wage and in which we participated vigorously in all the processes leading to its negotiation and the various struggles to deliver it for the benefit of Nigerian workers and peoples.

“Unfortunately, this strike will not have the desired impact and would not achieve the intentions Nigerian workers would want as it is seemingly; dead on arrival as programmed by the hidden interests pushing the agenda.

“ULC will not, therefore, be part of an exercise designed to hoodwink Nigerian workers and masses into believing that their interests were being championed while the contrary may be the case. We will not be part of this ruse neither will we partake in a complete jamboree that makes a mockery of the genuine struggle by Nigerian workers to begin to enjoy the new national minimum wage,” the statement added.

Council Of State Doesn’t Have Powers To Fix Salaries, Wages – ULC

 

The President of the United Labour Congress (ULC)Joe Ajaero, has said that the Council Of State does not have the power to fix salaries or wages.

His statement follows the council’s approval of N27,000 as the new minimum wage for the country.

Mr Ajaero during his appearance on Channels Television’s News at 10, said that what the council did was illegal.

“What the Council of State has done is illegal. The Council of State doesn’t have powers to fix salaries and wages,” he said on Tuesday.

He stated that what the council can do is to advise the President and not to announce a figure to Nigerians.

According to Mr Ajaero, the Tripartite Committee had already submitted N30,000 to President Muhammadu Buhari which he says is supposed to be transmitted to the National Assembly today.

The Federal Government also approved N30,000 for its workers disclosed by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige on Tuesday.

But the ULC President questioned the rationale between the different payments for the state and federal workers,

He said, “This is the first time in history that there will be a discriminatory national wage, one for state and the other for federal.

He further noted that the union will stick to the N30,000 which had been deliberated on.

The Tripartite committee, chaired by a former Head of Service of the Federation, Ms Ama Pepple, had submitted the report, which contained the recommended figure, to President Muhammadu Buhari on November 6, 2018, after many months of deliberations.

Prior to the committee’s recommendation last year, state governors had offered to pay N22,500 as minimum wage.

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

Against the backdrop of the committee recommending N30,000 on November 15, the Nigeria Governors’ Forum insisted that the states cannot pay the amount, leading to criticism by organised Labour which insisted on N30,000.

On January 8, 2019, the Nigeria Labour Congress held a nationwide protest over what it said was the delay by the Federal Government to transmit a new minimum wage bill to the National Assembly.

 

United Labour Congress Suspends Strike

The United Labour Congress (ULC) has suspended its industrial strike action which was embarked on recently.

President of the union, Joe Ajaero made this announcement after a meeting between the Labour Minister, Chris Ngige and the workers of the union in Abuja, on Wednesday.

The Labour Minister had last week threatened to sanction members of the ULC if they proceed on the strike claiming that ULC is not a registered labour movement.

However, the Minister made a u-turn, regarding his earlier stance on the strike action embarked upon by ULC and commenced negotiations with the striking workers.

READ ALSO: Strike: Labour Minister Meets With ULC

The union embarked on the strike after making several demands including the failure of the government to register the union, failure to address Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) issues, deplorable state of Nigerian roads, minimum wage increase, among other de mands.

The affiliated unions of ULC include (NUPENG), Electricity Workers, Nigerian Union of Mine Workers, National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions employees, Association of Nigerian Aviation professionals, among others.

Ajaero said the union decided to suspend the strike after the closed-door meeting with the Minister of Labour, Ngige.

The meeting was part of steps by government to resolve issues that led to the strike, which began on September 15.

The Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige, said the union and the Federal Government would resume negotiations on September 26.

Strike: Labour Minister Meets With ULC

The Labour Minister, Chris Ngige, is about to meet with the leadership of the United Labour Congress (NLC) over the ongoing strike.

Members of Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), an acclaimed affiliate union of ULC had on Tuesday turned down an invitation from the ministry for a conciliation meeting, saying that NUPENG did not declare strike, but ULC did and will only honour an invitation to discuss with the ULC.

The Minister had in an earlier briefing described ULC as an illegal trade union.

But the Minister is now making a U-turn as he has recongised ULC as a Labour Union whose registration is in motion.

The United Labour Congress of Nigeria (ULC) on Monday commenced a nationwide strike.

The union is downing their tools over the failure of the government to register the union, failure to address Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) issues, deplorable state of Nigerian roads, minimum wage increase, among other demands.

The affiliated unions of ULC include (NUPENG), Electricity Workers, Nigerian Union of Mine Workers, National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions employees, Association of Nigerian aviation professionals, among others.

Kaduna state ULC chairman, Ephraim James confirmed that the nationwide industrial action commences midnight of Monday, September 18, 2017 until further notice.

In a statement signed by Mr Joe Ajaero, President of the ULC, the union demands that, “The Federal Government bans the stationing of the Army and Police in our workplaces and factory premises. The Government should demand that the Federal Ministry of Labour sets up a task force immediately to carry out factory inspections as most of our factories are death traps.

“An immediate review of the Privatisation of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) to save Nigerians the agony of suffering under the suffocating darkness which the GENCOs and DISCOs have foisted on the nation and immediately prevail on AMCON and Barrister Nwaobike (SAN); the receiver manager of Delta Steel Company Ovwian Aladja who short-paid workers by 75% to quickly rectify it and repay the deficit.

“The immediate payment of all the arrears of salaries owed Nigerian workers at all levels of Government without exception.

“The Federal Government honours its 2009 agreement with University Lecturers under the umbrella of ASUU quickly and commence negotiations with them on new issues so that our universities will re-open.

“The roads leading to all the Petroleum refineries and Depots nation-wide be repaired by the Government to avoid the present carnage of lives, wastage of products and properties on these roads.

United Labour Congress Commences Nationwide Strike

The United Labour Congress of Nigeria (ULC) has commenced a nationwide strike.

The union is downing their tools over the failure of the government to register the union, failure to address Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) issues, deplorable state of Nigerian roads, minimum wage increase, among other demands.

The affiliated unions of ULC include  Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Electricity Workers, Nigerian Union of Mine Workers, National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions employees, Association of Nigerian aviation professionals, among others.

Kaduna state ULC chairman, Ephraim James confirmed that the nationwide industrial action commences midnight of Monday, September 18, 2017 until further notice.

In a statement signed by Mr Joe Ajaero, President of the ULC, the union demands that, “The Federal Government bans the stationing of the Army and Police in our workplaces and factory premises. The Government should demand that the Federal Ministry of Labour sets up a task force immediately to carry out factory inspections as most of our factories are death traps.

“An immediate review of the Privatisation of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) to save Nigerians the agony of suffering under the suffocating darkness which the GENCOs and DISCOs have foisted on the nation and immediately prevail on AMCON and Barrister Nwaobike (SAN); the receiver manager of Delta Steel Company Ovwian Aladja who short-paid workers by 75% to quickly rectify it and repay the deficit.

“The immediate payment of all the arrears of salaries owed Nigerian workers at all levels of Government without exception.

“The Federal Government honours its 2009 agreement with University Lecturers under the umbrella of ASUU quickly and commence negotiations with them on new issues so that our universities will re-open.

“The roads leading to all the Petroleum refineries and Depots nation-wide be repaired by the Government to avoid the present carnage of lives, wastage of products and properties on these roads.

“That the proposed Bill at the National Assembly seeking to control free speech couched under the guise of the Bill against hate speech but has the real intention of protecting the ruling elite from being held accountable by the citizenry. We therefore demand the discontinuance of that obnoxious Bill by whoever sponsored it.

“The withholding of registration certificate of the ULC be stopped and the certificate released forthwith so that the nation’s Industrial Relations clime will be made more inclusive and robust.

“The immediate inclusion of all representatives of labour in the various committees, Agencies and Directorates of Government and not singling out just one centre for these purposes negating the tenets of the nation’s Laws. Any of such appointments that have been done contrary to this, we demand an immediate reversal.

“The immediate inauguration of the national minimum wage negotiating committee in line with the above so that it can commence sitting instantly.”