Workers threaten nationwide strike over new minimum wage

Workers in the country under the aegis of All Workers Convergence (AWC), on Monday, issued a 21-day ultimatum to President Muhammadu Buhari to rescind the decision that the new minimum wage promised by September will not be feasible.

National Coordinator of AWC, Mr Andrew Emelieze, who addressed journalists in Ibadan, after a meeting attended by labour leaders and representatives of various labour unions, while condemning a statement credited to Minister of Labour, Mr Chris Ngige, that the Federal Government may not be able to pay the new minimum wage in September as earlier promised despite setting up of the new minimum wage committee in November 2017, threatened that failure to reassure workers within 21 days by Buhari that the new minimum wage will be paid, will lead to a nationwide strike.

He lamented that the statement coming from the Minister confirms that the government is insensitive to plight of the workers, very far from the people and equally uncaring and callous.

He said "We call on Mr Buhari to personally announce and reassure the Nigeria workers that September promise is still feasible and failure to do so in the next twenty one days, Nigeria workers shall be compelled to embark on a one day nationwide warning strike come 2nd July 2018.

"That, we agree with demands of NLC and TUC over the proposed amount for the new minimum wage which is not different from our earlier formula, that one percent of the President’s salary be used as the new minimum wage, while half percent of the President’s salary be used as minimum pension.

"We agreed also with the position of NLC/TUC that the new minimum wage take effect from 1st August 2018.

"That, the government should set up a social security fund to generate unemployment benefits to the unemployed and destitute derived from one percent of workers salary.

"That all outstanding workers salaries, allowance gratuities and pensions be paid latest 31st August 2018".

Emelize, speaking further, warned Ngige to mind what he called unilateral pronucements calpable of endangering the lives of workers in the country.

"We also like to state that the Minster of Labour be cautioned as his unilateral pronouncements are endangering lives of Labour leaders as they tend to paints us badly before our members.

"On the issues of general insecurity in the hand, our major pain is the daily and mindless killings by cattle herders in the northern part of Nigeria, ritual killings across the federation and many more horrible situations".

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