- The organised labour has threatened a nationwide strike
- They said this is the step they will take if the government failed to begin the process of reviewing workers’ minimum wage
- The warning came from the National Union of Textile Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN)
An affiliate member of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), NUTGTWN has threatened a nationwide strike if the government failed to begin the process of reviewing workers’ minimum wage.
The union's national president, Comrade John Adaji and general secretary, Comrade Issa Aremu issued the threat on Thursday, May 11, in Kaduna.
They called on the federal government to urgently constitute a committee on the review of the current national minimum wage.
They urged NLC and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to make urgent case for workers’ control of the country’s pension industry, adding that pension fund was workers’ capital and should not be a play-ground to reward failed politicians.
Aremu said: “As demonstrated by workers during the May Day in Abuja, Nigeria risks national industrial crisis except governments at all levels give due attention to the critical issue of compensation of workers.
“Hungry workers are legitimately angry workers. Nigerian workers are not only hungry but legitimately angry.
“We commend both the Senate and the House of Representatives for their respective facilitating roles to address the current issue of national minimum wage.
”However, the responsibility lies squarely with President Muhammadu Buhari ably being represented by Vice President Osinbajo.
“National Minimum Wage (Amendment) Act 2011 which offers the current N18,000 was for a 5-year cycle due for review in 2015.
”The five-year time limit was to avoid minimum wage stagnation and attendant seemingly increases that follow. In UK minimum wage is reviewed yearly. Today it is £7.5 per hour, about N37,000 per day!”
He stated that long before the current recession, Nigeria workers have long been in depression.
“With Naira devaluation and high inflation, 2010 negotiated national minimum wage of N18,000 which was about $120 in 2010 has fallen to below $50 in 2017 worsening income poverty.
”Nigeria can not get out of recession with poorly paid work-force,” he concluded.
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has promised to pay reasonable minimum wage to workers if they are returned to power in 2019.
The factional national chairman of the main opposition party, Ali Modu Sheriff, made the promise in a statement signed by his deputy, Dr Cairo Ojougboh, on Monday, May 1, in Abuja.
Watch the emotional video below of a government worker lamenting to NAIJ.com about her irregular salary.