How FG fooled labour on strike, N30,000 minimum wage

Posted by News Express | 8 November 2018 | 1,474 times

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• Labour and Productivity Minister, Chris Ngige(left) and NLC President Ayuba Wabba at an event

The Federal Government might have successfully hoodwinked the organised labour into calling off its planned industrial action while at the same time having the last laugh on workers’ demand for a 30,000 minimum wage.

One after the other, unions across the country had expressed desire to ride out the storm alongside the organised labour. Many Nigerians, believing a major strike was imminent, had also hurriedly stocked up on fuel and other essential items.

But the Federal Government seemed to have tinkered craftily with time, engaging labour leaders in a protracted dialogue that began 11:30 a.m. and dragged into the D-Day

A reliable labour source who was at the make-or-mar meeting had confided in The Guardian that indeed N30,000 was the final submission. But a witty agreement moved by the Federal Government had ensured the leaders kept a sealed lip until President Muhammadu Buhari received the report of the tripartite committee.

Nigerian workers have since waited anxiously for the president to mouth the happy disclosure. But this might never come. The conspicuous avoidance of the ‘N30,000 word’ in Buhari’s speech has raised concerns within labour ranks that the presidency is unwilling to transmit the agreed deal to the National Council of State and the National Assembly.

Also yesterday, Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, shockingly referred to the report by the tripartite committee as “a recommendation” which the president would “consider” and then “make his views known in due course.”

Pressed to make further comment following the Federal Executive Council meeting at State House, Abuja, Mohammed insisted: “I said a recommendation was submitted. Mr. President will get back to the committee after he has studied the recommendation.”

But labour leaders are not ruling out a return to the battlefield. General Secretary of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Peter Ozo-Eson said: “If anybody contemplates reduction, we will be back to the trenches and our members would direct us on the next step to take. But we think in the interest of industrial peace and harmony, what needs to be done now is that this compromise amount is forwarded to the National Assembly because reducing it will be extremely problematic.”

Excerpted from The Guardian report

Source: News Express

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