The move by Federal Government to avert the indefinite nationwide strike scheduled to commence on Tuesday, 6th November, 201deadlock as leaders of the organized labour shunned the meeting.
As at 6.30pm, the three labour centre President, Ayuba Wabba, NLC President, Bala Bobboi Kaigama, President of Trade Union Congress (TUC) and Joe Ajaero, President of United Labour Congress (ULC) were conspicuously absent at the meeting scheduled for 6pm today, Sunday, 4th November, 2018 at the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (oSGF).
BusinessDay however gathered that the labour leaders may attend the Monday’s meeting scheduled for 11am.
Present at the meeting are: Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment and two other Ministers as well as representatives of the Organised Private Sector (OPS).
As at the time of filing this report, meeting g of government functionaries with OPS is ongoing.
One of the top officials of Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment who spoke with BusinessDay under condition of anonymity, however noted that three Ministers present at the conciliatory meeting are hopeful that the meeting will hold as planned.
The joint Central Working Committee (CWC) of the three labour centres had during an emergency meeting held in Lagos on Saturday, 3rd November called on Ama People, Chairman of the Tripartite Committee on National Minimum Wage, to immediately “submit the report of the already concluded National Minimum Wage negotiations to Mr. President for transmission to the National Assembly for consideration and passage into law.”
The joint CWC which comprises of Presidents and General Secretaries of all registered Trade Unions in Nigeria also “endorsed earlier decisions to commence an indefinite national strike and industrial actions from November 6, 2018 except government accepts and commences the process of implementation of the 2018 New National Minimum Wage Report as agreed by the tripartite partners on October 5, 2018;
“In lieu of this, the Joint CWC DIRECTS all affiliate unions, state councils, civil society allies, the informal sector and other friends of workers and lovers of democracy to commence immediate mobilization of their members for a total shut down of the country from 6th November 2018;
“The Joint CWC advises Nigerians to start stocking food and other necessities of life as workers will ensure a total shutdown of the country.
“The Joint CWC similarly condemns Government for its design/plan to clampdown on Labour via selective and erroneous invocation of the ‘no work, no pay” clause in the Trade Disputes Act, noting that the right to strike is both a human and trade union right and cannot be abridged as it is what distinguishes a worker from a slave; there is nothing new about this clause as it has been in our statutes for over forty years;
“Finally, the Joint CWC urges every worker in Nigeria and our allies in the civil society to remain steadfast and unwavering in our collective quest for justice for ourselves and for the masses of our people. Organized Labour will not be cowed or deterred from fighting for our rights by any frivolous and mischievous court action and processes.
In line with our resolve to ensure total compliance with the nationwide strike action, the Joint CWC also directs that the strike action of November 6, 2018 should be complemented by daily picketing by workers all over the country.
Furthermore, we call on the Organized Private Sector (OPS) to resist mounting pressure to recant their stand on the N30,000 agreed new
minimum wage. We believe that the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA), a reputable body that represents organized employers, will always stand by the truth,” the communiqué issued and signed by Wabba, Kaigama and Ajaero read in part.