The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, has declared that the only way the government could avert a nationwide strike over the new minimum wage controversy in the new year is to do the needful.
The needful, according to the NLC president, Ayuba Wabba, was to ensure the approval and implementation of the N30,000 minimum wage recommended by the tripartite committee set up by the government.
Wabba who spoke in his New Year message said failure to do that would make Nigerian workers go on a nationwide strike.
His words: “It is unfortunate that the Federal Government is yet to transmit to the National Assembly an executive bill for the enactment of N30,000 as the new national minimum wage.
“Government’s dilly-dallying on the issue has strained Government-Labour relations with a potential for a major national strike which could just be days away.
“Accordingly, we would use this opportunity to appeal to the Government to do the needful by urgently transmitting the bill on the new national minimum wage to the National Assembly.
“We also would like to use this same opportunity to urge workers to fully mobilise for a prolonged national strike and enforce their right.”
Wabba who promised that the union would always work towards the improvement of the welfare of its members urged them to vote against anyone who would not protect their interests.
“The new year presents great opportunities for workers, pensioners, civil society allies and their friends and families to put their numbers to good use.
“This is by voting out, not on the basis of tribe or religion but purely policy, any candidate that cannot serve their interest.
“In the year that is ahead of us, the NLC remains unequivocally committed to the national and workers’ goals which include the campaign for industrialisation, against selective enforcement of ‘No Work..No Pay policy’ of government, among others.
“We will work assiduously to promote and advocate for the removal of all barriers to industrialisation, growth and productivity. We should be able to build a country where we produce what we consume.
“We cannot continue to export precious jobs away to other countries through successive poor policy choices of government and expect to change our unfortunate status as the poverty capital of the world,” he said.
It would be recalled that labour unions in the country have threatened to go on a nationwide strike in January if the government failed to start the implementation of the new minimum wage in the new year.
State governments have also maintained that they would not be able to pay the N30,000 approved by the tripartite committee set up by the Federal Government.