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Labour set for warning strike over minimum wage. See details...

Labour unions are set for a warning strike to protest the delay in decision on a new minimum wage.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) served the notice yesterday.

In a statement, NLC General Secretary Dr. Peter Ozo-Eson told industrial unions and state councils to get their members ready for the warning strike.

He said: “This is to inform you that the Organised Labour shall commence nationwide warning strike in respect of the non implementation of the National Minimum Wage effective midnight of Wednesday 26th September 2018.

“All industrial unions and all state councils are to commence mobilisation immediately for an effective action nationwide. A formal notification letter will be sent later in the day.”

The Trade Union Congress (TUC) also insisted that organised labour would begin a strike from tomorrow following the Federal Government’s alleged failure to honour its ultimatum on the new minimum wage.

TUC Secretary General Musa-Lawal Ozigi, in a statement  in Abuja, said the decision to embark on strike was sequel to the resolve of the Central Working Committee (CWC) of TUC on Monday.

Ozigi said that following the mandate of the CWC, the TUC leadership would effect the ultimatum on the new minimum wage in collaboration with other stakeholders.

“Strike is hereby declared to commence from early hours of Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018,” the Secretary General said.

He noted that as a result of the TUC’s decision to embark on strike, mobilisation of members would begin immediately.

According to him, all workers, civil society organisations and the masses are hereby put on notice to stockpile their houses for all necessary provisions and food items.

Ozigi, however, called on state councils to form joint state strike implementation committee that would comprise the TUC, NLC and other stakeholders in the state to ensure effectiveness.

He called on union members to be alert for further directive on or before Thursday.

The labour leaders on September 12 cautioned the Federal Government against foot-dragging on the new minimum wage and to allow the tripartite committee to conclude its job to avoid action.

NLC President Ayuba Wabba said the committee was not pleased with the comments allegedly made by Minister of Labour and Employment Dr Chris Ngige that the committee adjourned indefinitely to give room for further consultations with the government on the minimum wage.

The Federal Government had assured the organised Labour that the Tripartite Committee on the National Minimum Wage would conclude its negotiation before the expiration of the 14-day ultimatum.

Ms Amal Pepple, Chairman, Tripartite Committee gave the assurance while speaking with reporters in Abuja.

She said:  “So, we pray that everything will be resolved before then so labour do not have to embark on any strike,” she said.

Ngige said the 14-day ultimatum was “a subtle blackmail” to stampede the Tripartite Committee on the new National Minimum Wage.

According to him, it is not true that the Federal Government is trying to stall negotiations.

President Muhammadu Buhari in November 2017 inaugurated the tripartite committee to decide a new national minimum wage for the country. The committee began sitting in March 2018.

Ngige said in February during the 40th anniversary celebration of the NLC that the committee would conclude its report before the end of the third quarter.

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