Labour Unions Stand Firm on Planned Strike After N494,000 Minimum Wage Negotiations with Government Fail


NLC and TUC Maintain Strike Stance Following Emergency Meeting with National Assembly

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The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) have reaffirmed their commitment to an indefinite strike set to begin on Monday, June 3, 2024, despite an emergency meeting with the National Assembly leadership.

During the meeting, NLC and TUC leaders stated they would present the National Assembly’s appeal to their members and report back. The unions had declared the strike after negotiations with the federal government over the minimum wage ended in a deadlock.

In a last-ditch effort to avert the strike, Senate President Godswill Akpabio and House Speaker Tajudeen Abbas met with the union leaders. The meeting included George Akume, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation; Wale Edun, the Minister for Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy; and other key officials.

Akpabio highlighted that the National Assembly had canceled an important engagement to convene the meeting, aiming to reach a consensus between the government and organized labour. He stressed the difficulty of negotiating during strike actions and expressed concern that the N494,000 minimum wage demand could exacerbate unemployment.

“I know that Mr. President has set up a serious committee to negotiate with Labour. The Secretary to the Government of the Federation and the Head of Service, who are here with us, have been deeply involved in the negotiations,” Akpabio stated.

He added, “The leadership of both Chambers decided to invite everyone here to listen to all parties. We are not taking over the work of the executive or the NLC and TUC, but we wanted to hear from you.”

Akpabio emphasized the importance of negotiating in a non-crisis atmosphere, noting, “If you are on strike, it means you are no longer negotiating. The Nigerian people are eager for a resolution to the minimum wage issue. The government is also eager to meet the people’s demands to a reasonable extent based on the current economic realities.”

He concluded by expressing solidarity with the workers, saying, “As the People’s Parliament, we are on the side of the people. We are also workers, so what affects you affects us. I welcome you for honoring this invitation of the 10th National Assembly on very short notice.”

Bisi Adele
Bisi Adele
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