The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on Monday urged the nation’s workers and the citizenry to brace up for a prolonged nationwide strike as the ultimatum it issued to the Federal Government to implement the N30,000 new minimum wage has expired.
The warning came On Monday during this year’s World Decent Work Day celebration in Lagos.
At the rally to mark the celebration, NLC President Ayuba Wabba, who was represented by the union’s Deputy General Secretary, Ismail Bello, stressed that if government failed to address the issue on or before October 31, the labour movement would take action. The union leader urged the government to agree to consequential adjustment of the salary and begin payment immediately.
The workers, as early as 7 am, gathered at “Under Bridge” in Ikeja, the state capital, from where they marched to the House of Assembly.
Bello said government’s dillydallying on the matter had strained its relations with labour, adding that this could cause a major national strike in a matter of days.
“Accordingly, we would use this opportunity to appeal to the government to do the needful by urgently commencing the implementation to what we agreed on. We also would like to use this same opportunity to urge workers to fully mobilise for a prolonged national strike and enforce their right.
“This strike action becomes the inevitable last option for us and we crave the understanding and support of all Nigerians and businesses.
“We would want to assure workers that their labour, patience and diligence will not be in vain and that this leadership remains committed to giving all that it takes to ensure that they get just and fair wages due to them in a decent work environment appropriate to their well-being,” he said.
Also, Lagos State NLC Chairman Agnes Funmi Sessi stressed that if other states pay N30,000 minimum wage, Lagos workers would not take less than N50,000.
The union leader said this is because Lagos workers faced a lot of hazard every day, while the state is also special.
“We, workers in Lagos State, will not take anything less than N50,000 as minimum wage. This is because workers face lots of hazards. There should be allowance for transportation, rail and many other things. The roads are bad. There is no electricity. The living condition is bad.”