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NLC, TUC Serve May 31 Deadline For Strike On Minimum Wage, Electricity Tariff

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) have jointly served notice over an industrial action should government fail to reverse the hike in electricity tariff and conclude the minimum wage by May 31.

In a joint communiqué issued Monday, leaders of the two labour centres, gave the Federal Government and National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) up to this month-end to reverse the hike that saw some category of users being billed up to 300 percent more.

NLC and TUC reiterated their May 31 ultimatum for government to conclude the new minimum wage or face a national strike.

In the communiqué jointly signed by NLC President Joe Ajaero and TUC President, Festus Osifo, the two labour centres said the emergency meeting was convened in response to the pressing national issues affecting Nigerian workers, namely, the recent hike in electricity tariff, the ongoing negotiation of a new national minimum wage with the federal government and the persisting non-compliance with the 2019 National Minimum Wage Act by some state Governments in Nigeria.

The organised labour said that while appreciating the efforts made thus far on minimum wage negotiations, there was need for urgency in reaching a fair and equitable agreement that reflects the true value of Nigerian workers’ contributions to the nation’s development and the current crisis of survival facing Nigerians as a result of government’s policies.

The labour movement accused the Federal Government of not showing any serious sign of ensuring that the New National Minimum Wage process was concluded in good time.

It said one sign of the lack of commitment was the government’s refusal to comply with the dictates of the 2019 National Minimum Wage Act in constituting the Tripartite National Minimum Wage Negotiating Committee later than six months to the expiration of the existing one

The communiqué read: “The NEC affirms its commitment to ensuring that the interests and welfare of workers are adequately protected in the negotiation process.

“The NEC-in-session therefore reiterates the ultimatum issued by the NLC and TUC to the federal government, which expires on the last day of this month.

“It emphasises the non-negotiable nature of the demands put forth by Nigerian workers and urges the government to prioritise the resolution of these issues in the best interest of industrial peace.”

TUC and NLC pointed out that the one-day nationwide picketing of all NERC offices and DisCos to protest the illegal hike in electricity tariff a reversal and demand its reversal by NERC and the federal government appeared not to have achieved the desired result.

Thus, they resolved that: “In the event that the government fails to meet the demands outlined within the stipulated timeframe, the NEC authorises the leadership of the NLC and TUC to take appropriate actions, including but not limited to the mobilisation of workers for peaceful protests and industrial actions, to press home these demands for social justice and workers’ rights”.

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