Minimum Wage: We’ve Not Declared Strike Action - NLC

THE Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has put to rest speculations of a nationwide strike beginning from today.

It said it has not called for any strike action to protest the delay in transmitting the minimum wage bill to the National Assembly.

Its General Secretary, Dr. Peter Ozo-Eson, said in a statement that what the congress has called for today is a day of protest and mobilisation across the states to sensitise Nigerians and workers on the minimum wage issue.

Ozo-Eson said the national day of protest does not translate into a strike action, adding that whenever labour decides on a date for a nationwide strike, Nigerians would be informed accordingly.

The statement reads: “It has come to our attention that some section of the news media has largely misrepresented our action plan in reaction to the delay in transmitting the recommendations of the Tripartite Committee on a new National Minimum Wage to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari.

“It should be recalled that the National Executive Council of NLC met on December 17, last year and directed that we hold nationwide mobilisation of workers and our allies if by December 31, 2018, the bill on the National Minimum Wage was yet to be sent to the National Assembly to be passed as an Act of Parliament.

“We immediately announced then that on Tuesday, January 8, 2019, there will be a nationwide mass mobilisation and protests simultaneously across all states in Nigeria. This does not translate to a strike.”

It added: “It is on record that each time we had cause to embark on a national strike, we say so publicly without any equivocation. We still don’t understand where the story about a strike commencing tomorrow came from.

“Already, all our state councils, affiliate unions and allies in other pro-people mass organisations now popularly referred to as civil society organisations have been fully informed and mobilised to ensure the success of tomorrow’s mass protests in all the states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

“When a date is decided for the commencement of a strike subsequently, we will inform the public appropriately.”

The Senate panel on Labour  yesterday pleaded with organised labour to shelve its planned nationwide industrial action.

The panel said the  NLC and its sister organisations should drop the proposed strike because findings showed that President Muhammadu Buhari is working to convince states to pay the new wage.

Chairman Senate Committee on Labour, Senator Abu Ibrahim, who spoke on labour’s strike threat over the N30,000 minimum wage agitation, said the federal and state governments on one hand and organised labour on the other hand should work to strike a balance in the interest of the country.

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