November 3, 2018

MINIMUM WAGE CRISIS: NLC, TUC threaten to boycott meeting slated for today

MINIMUM WAGE CRISIS: NLC, TUC threaten to boycott meeting slated for today

Dr Chris Nwabueze Ngige

’Nothing stops strike scheduled for Tuesday’

By Victor Ahiuma-Young

The Organised Labour has urged the Federal Government to stop playing to the gallery and accept the fact that there is no escape route other than to accept the N30,000 minimum wage recommended by the Minimum Wage Tripartite Committee, saying it will not attend today’s meeting called by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige.

Dr Chris Nwabueze Ngige

According to leaders of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, and  the United Labour Congress of Nigeria, ULC, the only meeting labour could attend was to submit the N30,000 recommendation to President Muhammadu Buhari for onward transmission to the National Assembly for legislative action.

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The Organised Labour insisted that any governor that did not have the ability to pay N30,000 minimum wage did not have the ability to govern, and should be ready to sacrifice his electoral fortunes in 2019.

Ngige had, in a statement by Prince Samuel Olowookere, Director (Press), Ministry of Labour and Employment, said today’s meeting “involving the Organized Labour, the Organized Private Sector and Government, scheduled for Sunday, November 4, 2018 at the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation by 6:00 p.m, is still on course and will hold”.

This, according to Olowookere, will be followed tomorrow, Monday, by the meeting of the National Tripartite Minimum Wage Committee.

Speaking to Sunday Vanguard, yesterday, the President of ULC, Mr. Joe Ajaero, said: “We have resolved not to attend tomorrow’s meeting. In the first place, the meeting is for what purpose? The Tripartite Committee on Minimum Wage has finished its work since October 5, and recommended N30,000 as the new minimum wage. Again, what is behind the 6 pm timing of the meeting? After that, you are calling another meeting for 11 am the next day.

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And the nationwide strike is commencing on Tuesday. The government is just playing to the gallery because they know what to do. There is an agreement, implement it and everything will be over. The same government has reportedly obtained a restraining order stopping Labour from going to court. Though as we speak, we have not been served, and we are hearing about it from the media, this is an old trick that will not work”.