Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
Barely five days to its deadline for commencement of another nationwide industrial action, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has started mobilising all its affiliate unions to ensure total compliance.
The labour congress at the end of its National Executive Council meeting held in Abuja on Wednesday directed all affiliate unions, state councils, civil society allies, the informal sector to commence immediate mobilisation of their members.
A communiqué signed by the NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, and General Secretary, Peter Essom, said there will be a joint organ meeting of the Central Working Committees (CWCs) of all the Labour Centres on November 2, in final preparation for a full engagement with government on the national minimum wage.
The NEC meeting resolved to commence an indefinite national strike from November 6, except government accepts and commences the process of perfecting the payment of N30,000 as the negotiated and compromised new national minimum wage before that date.
The communique reads: “In furtherance of this, NEC-in-session directed all affiliate unions, state councils, civil society allies, the informal sector and other friends of workers and lovers of democracy to commence immediate mobilisation of their members;
“The NEC advised Nigerians to start stocking food and other necessities of life as workers will ensure a total shutdown of the country”.
Similarly, the NLC condemned the decision of the Federal Government to clamp down on Labour via what it described as “selective and erroneous invocation of the ‘no work, no pay” clause in the Trade Disputes Act”, noting that the right to strike is both a human and trade union right and cannot be abridged.
It urged Nigerian workers to disregard government’s directive on “no work, no pay” because workers are already being impoverished and being owed arrears of salaries.
“The NEC, accordingly, resolved that the threat of “no work, no pay” will not deter it from embarking on strike when necessary as it has always complied with legal requirements precedent and will always comply with those requirements,” it said.