Minimum Wage: Kwara Labour unions join nationwide strike, today


…tells KWSG, ‘pay our Sept salary’

By Matthew Denis and Ahmed Ajikobi

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) in Kwara State will today (Thursday) join the proposed nationwide strike by their national headquarters.

The leaders of the two unions however called on the Kwara State Government to pay their September salary.

The state Chairman of NLC, Cmr. Yekini Kareem Agunbiade in statement issued yesterday, said the minimum wage should have been implemented by the Federal Government since 2016.

According to the statement, a committee was set up in November 2017 which later commenced work in March 2018 with the delivery day of their report slated for August/ September, 2018.

“21 states submitted memorandum and some agencies/private sectors but nothing was done by the FG.”

According to the statement the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr. Chris Ngige assured the workers during their 40th anniversary in February, 2018 and since then there was no fulfilment of agreement.

“The minister’s pronouncement created tension among workers couple with increase in pump price of petroleum affecting the workers and increase in electricity tariff.”

It further stated that the organised labour demanded that the government should ensure the tripartite committee to conduct its work within 14 days without this they couldn’t guarantee any industrial peace.

“Therefore as from today (Thursday), 27th September 2018 the indefinite industrial action which is a ‘Sit-At-Home strike shall commence. The general public should sympathies with the generality if the workers all over the country.

On his part, the state Chairman of TUC, Cmr. Nasir Kolawole Olumoh said, ” sequence to the letter we received from the national headquarters concerning the strike, we have been directed to effect the strike action with effect from tomorrow.

“We in collaboration with NLC have written to the security agencies in the state and there is no going back on the strike. We will ensure that all government premises are sealed off.

The chairman emphasised that they have already mobilized their people at the state level for the sit-at-home industrial action.

He also called on the state government to pay September salary immediately within the week as the strike shouldn’t be an excuse.

“Though the state government was magnanimous enough to have paid the August salary earlier because of sallah celebration, we are however appealing to them to pay our September salary with or without the strike within this week,” he said.

Also, the National Union of Local Governments Employers (NULGE) in a statement signed the Secretary of Kwara State chapter, Cmr. Hotonu Rafiu, said ” in compliance with this mandate, all workers in the public and private sectors at all levels across the country have been directed to comply. Industrial unions, state councils, all worker organisations and our civil society allies have been directed to step up mobilization of their members. All public and private institutions, offices, banks, schools, public and private business premises including filling stations are to remain shut till further notice.

He added that those who mean well for this country are to see to the success of this action.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige has stated that the FG is working towards an acceptable and sustainable minimum wage for Nigerian workers.

He made this statement on AIT news hour monitored in Ilorin by our reporter.

Speaking with newsmen on the outcome of the ongoing negotiations with organised labour and other stakeholders, Ngige appealed to Nigerians to be patient as everything is being done to address the issue.

The labour minister expressed the hope that the prospect workers will get a new minimum wage before the end of 2018 will materialise.

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