Strike: FG moves to stop Labour over minimum wage

The President of Trade Union Congress, Quadri Olaleye, on Friday said the Federal Government wanted an extension of ultimatum from organised labour in order to stop the looming minimum wage strike.

The Federal Government and the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council, which is representing labour unions in the negotiation for the total implementation of the new minimum wage, will meet on Tuesday after the first phase of negotiation collapsed due to percentage differences.

However, labour had already issued October 16, 2019 ultimatum for government to accept its demands on the consequential adjustment in workers’ salary as a result of the new minimum wage, failure of which a strike could be declared.

Olaleye said that apart from fixing a date for a meeting on Tuesday, FG had made attempt to ensure that the strike would not hold.

He said, “Those on the government negotiating team are too slow with the level of their consultation. For example, for an ultimatum that will expire on October 16, 2019, instead of concentrating on how to resolve the issues, they are asking for extension of the ultimatum which is not going to be possible.

“The decision is that of the organ comprising the CWC, NAC and NEC of labour unions. It will be very difficult to call them back and review the position with the view to extending it. It will be impossible at this short time.”

Meanwhile, the union has called on the FG to use all the funds and properties seized from corrupt government officials for public interest. In a statement signed by Olaleye and the Secretary General, Musa-Lawal Ozigi, TUC urged government to use the over N1tn recovered from corrupt Nigerians to provide some basic amenities lacking all over the country.

Quoting Olaleye, the statement said, “I have seen pictures of police barracks and military cantonments in the country and I can tell you they are displeasing and ugly sights. These security operatives live and raise children in very dirty environments; whereas some privileged individuals loot the treasury to build mansions and even own estates in choice cities. Those estates should be converted to an extension of police and military barracks.

“Effort should also be made to reclaim and sell out the properties acquired in foreign countries. It makes no sense stealing from the country and investing elsewhere, while agencies of government are in a rented apartment and Nigerians homeless.”

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