By Joan Nwagwu
Abuja – The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) says it will commence nationwide strike after the expiration of its 14 days ultimatum given to the Federal Government on the new minimum wage.
Mr Ayuba Wabba, NLC president, said this while addressing newsmen at the end of the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the congress on Wednesday in Abuja.
Wabba said that the industrial action would become necessary if orgnised labour’s demand to reconvene the Tripartite Committee on the National Minimum Wage for workers was not met.
It would be recalled that the organised labour had issued the Federal Government 14-day ultimatum that commenced on the Sept.12.
The Organised Labour had insisted that the Tripartite Committee on the new National Minimum Wage should conclude its work within the stipulated time frame.
According to him, NEC in session has expressed disappointment at the manner in which the Tripartite Committee on National Minimum Wage unilaterally adjourned the meeting indefinitely.
“NEC expresses serious concern at the unilateral adjournment of the negotiation of the new minimum wage by the Federal Government on the day the tripartite committee was expected to complete its assignment.
“NEC noted that this is against the principle of collective bargaining as provided in International Labour Organisation (ILO) Conventions 98 and 131 on Minimum Wage setting process, which Nigeria had domesticated.
“NEC has resolved to commence action at the expiration of the 14 days ultimatum issued to the Federal Government over the new minimum wage, if the demand of the organised labour was not met.
“That NEC has given National Administrative Council and the leadership of organised labour the power to declare appropriate industrial action or any action it deems necessary.
The NLC president also said that the NEC in session had approved and applauded the organised labour for taking a proactive step by issuing a statutory 14 days industrial action notice.
He said NEC in session noted that the ultimatum issued to the government would preserve the sanctity of the collective bargaining process.
Wabba also said that the demand for the tripartite committee to reconvene within a set period to finalise its report was in line with the principles of collective bargaining.
“NEC also resolve that all its affiliate unions and the 36 state councils of Congress and the FCT and joint action front should communicate the decision of NEC to their members and all workers, ‘’ he added.