Organised Labour Threatens Fresh Strike, Faults FG



The organised labour unions have faulted the pace of the federal government’s implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) it signed with the government.


Organised Labour threatened to down their tools by 30 October if the pace is not increased.


According to them, the federal government can do better and faster.


Recall that the national leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress  (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) reached an agreement with the federal government on October 1 to pay N35,000 to all federal workers beginning in September, pending when a new national minimum wage would be signed into law.


The resolution provided that the wage award would be paid to the federal workers for six months while states were encouraged to extend the same benefit to their workers.


Since signing the MoU, the federal government has directed that the payment of the N35,000 wage award and provision be made for 55,000 Compressed Natural Gas conversion kits to kick-start the autogas conversion programme.


However, the organised labour said it is not impressed with the snail pace of the implementation of the agreements in the MoU and threatened to down its tools by month’s end if nothing significant is implemented.


On Tuesday, the Head of Information and Public Affairs of the NLC, Benson Upah, said, they were not impressed with the development so far.


He told The Punch, “No, we are not. The government could do better and faster. We issued a statement a few days ago in which we expressed our displeasure with the Minister of Labour and Employment.”


Similarly, the Ogun State TUC Chairman, Akeem Lasisi, told the platform that they might be forced into declaring another nationwide strike should the government fail to fulfil their end of the bargain by the October 30 deadline of implementing the agreements in the MoU.


Lasisi, said, “Implementation of most of the agreements lies on the table of the Federal Government. The only one that is critical for the state and local government is the payment of the wage award.


“In Ogun State, the government has announced the extension of the N10,000 financial award. The announcement is not a product of negotiation between organised labour and the government. It is the initiative of the government which we appreciate. The leadership will meet with the government to ensure the implementation of the N35,000 wage award.


“There is a process in declaring a trade dispute: We shall call the necessary organ meeting to review how far we have gone and, at the same time, consider the possibility of declaring a trade dispute after the October 30 deadline.


“This is purely a national issue, and we shall follow any instruction given to the state council leadership.”


Corroborating his thoughts, the Kano State chapter of the NLC said it would wait to see the implementation of the wage award by the Federal Government before knowing the right steps to take.


The state Chairman, Kabiru Inuwa, stated, “We shall wait to see if the Federal Government implements the wage award to its workers because we don’t want to say the action we will take until after we’re sure of what the Federal Government does.


“You know we have written to the state government requesting the payment of the wage award to our members, but the government is yet to respond. We are still waiting for the government to invite us or respond to our letter. But we will continue to wait until we see what the Federal Government does. So, we shall take the next line of action if the state government fails to implement the wage award to our members.’’