Organized labour comprising the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Trade Union Congress (TUC) and other affiliate bodies may ground economic activities in the country again after rejecting the N62,000 “starvation wage” offered by the Federal Government.
The federal government had last week raised the minimum wage to N62,000.
The followed the organised labour’s rejection of N60,000 offered by the government.
The Assistant General Secretary of the NLC, Chris Onyeka, who appeared on Channels Television’s programme, The Morning Brief, on Monday said the one-week grace period given to the federal government last Tuesday would expire by the midnight of Tuesday.
He insisted on N250,000 the labour demanded at last Friday’s meeting of the Tripartite Committee on Minimum Wage as the living wage for an average Nigerian worker.
He stressed that the organs of the NLC and TUC would meet to decide on the resumption of the strike relaxed last week if the government and the National Assembly fail to act on the demands.
Onyeka said: “Our position is very clear. We have never considered accepting N62,000 or any other wage that we know is below what we know is able to take Nigerian workers home. We will not negotiate a starvation wage.
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“We have never contemplated N100,000 let alone N62,000. We are still at N250,000, that is where we are, and that is what we considered enough concession to the government and the other social partners in this particular situation.
“We are not just driven by frivolities but the realities of the market place; realities of things we buy every day, bags of rice, yam, garri, and all of that.
“The Federal Government and the National Assembly have the call now. It is not our call. Our demand is there for them (the government) to look at and send an Executive Bill to the National Assembly, and for the National Assembly to look at what we have demanded, the various fact of the law, and then come up with a National Minimum Act that meets our demands.
“If that does not meet our demand, we have given the Federal Government a one-week notice to look at the issues and that one week expires tomorrow (Tuesday).
“If after tomorrow, we have not seen any tangible response from the government, the organs of the Organised Labour will meet to decide on what next.
“It was clear what we said. We said we are relaxing a nationwide indefinite strike. It’s like putting a pause on it.
“So, if you put a pause on something and the organs that govern us as trade unions decide that we should remove that pause, it means that we go back to what was in existence before.”
By: Babajide Okeowo

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