Nigeria News
Minimum wage: TUC threatens national strike

TRADE Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, weekend in Lagos, gave the Senate one week to clarify its position on the contentious removal of National Minimum Wage, NMW, from the Exclusive Legislative list to the Concurrent list as leaders of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, today holds crucial meeting of its leaders to decide on a nationwide strike over the issue.

Already industrial unions affiliated to both NLC and TUC have begun mobilization for a nationwide strike against the development.

At the end of its emergency National Executive Council, NEC, meeting TUC demanded, “that the leadership of the National Assembly should clarify to the nation on the true position of the amendment, within one week from today.”

President of TUC , Bobboi Kaigama, while reading the Communiqué issued at the end of the meeting, commended the House of Representatives for standing by the people of Nigeria, by retaining NMW on the exclusive list.

According to him, “The reason for one week is the fact that there are conflicting reports as to the true state of affairs. Specifically we read conflicting angle to what the position of Senate is in this instance.”

He insisted that organised labour saw this move as a calculated attempt by the government to frustrate and  truncate efforts of Nigerian workers in the demand for the review of the NMW.

“Minimum wage is due for review every five years and we have commenced the process at the joint council level, so all this ploy would not work”, he stated.

Declaring that the NEC said ‘No’ to minimum wage deregulation, Kaigama warned that TUC would resist the attempt with all its capacity.

He noted that the Congress NEC had mandated the leadership of TUC to relate with NLC and labour allies in the civil society organisations to mobilise without further delay for a follow up action.

TUC argued that if the amendment by the Senate was allowed to stand, it would trigger a number of undesirable implications such as “abandonment of a National Minimum Wage in favour of multiple minimum wages that is, 37 – Federal and States, which means there is no minimum wage in the country, exclusion of the private sector, both formal and informal from the concept, rationale and logic of a national Minimum wage. Yet, in the Nigeria circumstance, like in most developing nations, it is in this sector that unfair labour practices are prevalent, including exploitative pay regimes in the absence of regulation.”

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