Minimum wage: Labour threatens strike; FG says workers must make sacrifice in the interest of Nigeria

Chris Ngige

Quadri Olaleye, the President of Trade Union Congress (TUC), has warned that the labour would not go on an initial warning strike before the main industrial action if by October 16, 2019, the federal government fails to meet the minimum wage demand.

The organised labour noted that if the FG fails to meet and accept its demand on the minimum wage by the end of Wednesday, October 16, it cannot guarantee industrial peace in the country.

Adding that it had demonstrated high level of restraint, consideration and patience with the FG on its demand for adjustment in workers’ salaries. The union noted that workers had expressed patience while the government dragged the negotiations unduly.

The statement was issued in a communiqué at the end of a meeting of the leaders of the labour unions on Tuesday in Abuja.

Olaleye had told The Punch that; “We had already begun mobilisation of our members for an industrial action long before we made the pronouncement. We have given instructions on mobilisation to our members in the states and all council areas.

“If by October 16, government fails to do what we expect from it, we will start our action with a rally. On the second day, the strike will begin,” he added.

“We are not going to give any warning strike this time round. We have threatened to go on strike on many occasions. The public can attest to this through media publication and letters to government,” he noted.

Responding however to the plan on going on strike, the Federal Government in a statement through the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige, said that with the situation of the economy, everyone should be ready to make sacrifices for the interest of the nation.

‘‘The FG has promised to open its books to labour to come and look at its income and expenditure. They are free to send representatives to carry out the task. This time calls for sacrifice. Every step the minister has taken so far has been in the interest of the nation,’’ Ngige stated in a statement issued by Nwachukwu Obidiwe, his Special Adviser on Media.

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