NLC, TUC: May 31 Deadline on Minimum Wage, Reversal of Electricity Tariff Stands

•Directs Anambra workers to commence strike Thursday

Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

As Nigerians await the outcome of the negotiations by the federal government ‘s Tripartite Committee on Minimum Wage, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) has restated their deadline for the conclusion of the process on or before the last day of May, 2024.

The labour movement similarly reaffirmed their position on the May 31, 2024 deadline for the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and the federal government to reverse the hike in electricity tariff of face industrial unrest.

These were part of the resolutions reached at a joint National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the NLC and TUC held yesterday in Abuja.

In a communique jointly signed by NLC president Joe Ajaero and TUC President, Festus Osifo, the two labour centres said the emergency meeting was convened in response to the pressing national issues affecting Nigerian workers, namely, the recent hike in electricity tariff, the ongoing negotiation of a new national minimum wage with the federal government and the persisting non-compliance with the 2019 National Minimum Wage Act by some state Governments in Nigeria.

The organised labour said that while appreciating the efforts made thus far on minimum wage negotiations, there was need for urgency in reaching a fair and equitable agreement that reflects the true value of Nigerian workers’ contributions to the nation’s development and the current crisis of survival facing Nigerians as a result of government’s policies.

The labour movement accused the federal government of not showing any serious sign of ensuring that the New National Minimum Wage process was concluded in good time.

It said one sign of the lack of commitment was the government’s refusal to comply with the dictates of the 2019 National Minimum Wage Act in constituting the Tripartite National Minimum Wage Negotiating Committee later than six months to the expiration of the existing one

According to the communique, “The NEC affirms its commitment to ensuring that the interests and welfare of workers are adequately protected in the negotiation process.

 “The NEC-in-session therefore reiterates the ultimatum issued by the NLC and TUC to the federal government, which expires on the last day of this month.

“It emphasises the non-negotiable nature of the demands put forth by Nigerian workers and urges the government to prioritise the resolution of these issues in the best interest of industrial peace.”

The unions regretted that the one-day nationwide picketing of all NERC offices and Discos to protest the illegal hike in electricity tariff a reversal and demand its reversal by NERC and the federal government appeared not to have achieved the desired result.

The two labour centre therefore resolved that: “In the event that the government fails to meet the demands outlined within the stipulated timeframe, the NEC authorises the leadership of the NLC and TUC to take appropriate actions, including but not limited to the mobilisation of workers for peaceful protests and industrial actions, to press home these demands for social justice and workers’ rights”.

Meanwhile, NLC and TUC have directed all State Councils whose State Governments were yet to fully implement the N30,000 National Minimum Wage and its consequential adjustments to issue immediately a joint two-week ultimatum to the culpable state governments to avert industrial action.

 NLC and TUC further reaffirmed the joint ultimatum earlier issued the Anambra state government by its Anambra State councils.

They therefore directed all affiliates and workers in the state council to mobilise their members to ensure a successful action in the event the state government fails to meet the demands of workers by Thursday, the 23rd of May, 2024. 

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