Workers’ Protest over Minimum Wage Begins Today


Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has directed its 36 state councils, affiliate unions and friendly groups, including Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to mobilise for the commencement of nationwide mass protest over the failure of the federal government to transmit the N30,000 minimum wage implementation bill to the National Assembly.

Also debunking newspaper report that it had mobilised to resume strike today (Tuesday), the organised labour said it has not taken any such resolution.

The General Secretary of NLC, Dr. Peter Ozo-Eson, in a statement yesterday in Abuja said when the organised labour decides to embark on strike, it would inform the public on it.

According to the statement, “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, 2018 and directed that we hold nationwide mobilisation of workers and our allies if by December 31, 2018 the bill on the National Minimum Wage has 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.’’

NLC said that it is on record that each time it had cause to embark on a national strike, it said so publicly without any equivocation, saying it still doesn’t understand where the story about a strike commencing tomorrow came from.

It added that already, all its 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.

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