NLC: Fresh nationwide strike looms over minimum wage

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has threatened to embark on a nationwide strike over an attempt by lawmakers to transfer minimum wage to the concurrent list.

The proposed strike could begin March 10.

The organised labour also threatened to picket fuel stations for creating artificial scarcity of fuel by hoarding petrol.

The National Executive Council of the NLC reached this decision after a virtual meeting on Tuesday.

The leadership of the union said the nationwide strike could be halted if the National Assembly halts its efforts at passing into law, a bill seeking movement of the minimum wage from the Executive Legislative List to the Concurrent Legislative List.

NLC President Ayuba Wabba, while speaking at the end of the emergency, said the attempt to transfer minimum wage to a concurrent list was an attempt to plunge the country into chaos and make Nigeria a laughing stock in the international community.

He alleged that the major reason for the call to move the minimum wage to the Concurrent Legislative list was to enable states to negotiate and fix their minimum wage.

This action, according to him, will not protect employees in government and organised private sector, and particularly, the unorganised, the unskilled and the vulnerable in the highly un-governed space known as the informal sector.

He said. “The attention of the entire working class in Nigeria has been drawn to a bill which was listed in the House of Representatives as HB 950.

“This bill which was sponsored by Honourable Garba Datti Mohammed of Sabon Gari Federal Constituency, Kaduna State had passed the 1st and 2nd reading in February 2021.

“After careful consideration of the issues before it especially in light of their implications to the working-class family and the masses of our people in Nigeria, the NEC decided that there will be a national protest action commencing from the 10th of March 2021 in the Federal Capital Territory and especially to the National Assembly.

“The protest is to make a strong statement that Nigerian workers would not lie low and watch hard-fought rights which are of global standards bastardized by opportunistic and narrow thinking politicians

“The NEC resolved that the national protest action will be concurrently held in all the 36 states of the federation and to the different State Houses of Assembly across Nigeria.

“The NEC warned that should the current artificial scarcity persist that the various leadership structures of the NLC should picket petrol stations found to be inflicting pains on Nigerians.

“The NEC resolved that all the resolutions and decisions adopted at the emergency meeting should be pursued in collaboration with the Trade Union Congress (TUC) in the overall interest of all Nigerian workers.”

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