We wish to inform the NDU community that we may also be affected by the labour nationwide strike which has commenced today 27th September, 2018.
The Organized Labour yesterday resolved to commence its planned warning strike today even as it accused the Federal Government of failing to mention a figure as new minimum wage for workers in the country (Daily Trust, 2018).
The Minister of Labour and Employment Chris Ngige had met with the labour leaders yesterday where he assured them that the Tripartite Committee will reconvene on October 4, 2018 for further negotiations (Daily Trust, 2018).
Speaking to journalists after the meeting attended by leaders of the NLC, TUC and affiliate unions, Ngige said the decisions taken by the tripartite committee will be passed to the federal executive council for approval (Daily Trust, 2018).
But the NLC President Ayuba Wabba insisted that the position of the union, which was taken prior to the deadlocked meeting with Ngige, still stands (Daily Trust, 2018).
Wabba had on Wednesday morning said all workers will begin a nation-wide warning strike over the refusal of the federal government to reconvene the meeting of the committee on minimum wage to enable it conclude its work (Daily Trust, 2018).
The NLC president said the strike action was in compliance with the decision of the various organs of the organized labour which endorsed the 14-day ultimatum served on the federal government by members of the labour who are members of the committee on the new minimum wage (Daily Trust, 2018).
He said: “Industrial unions, state councils, all worker organistions 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” (Daily Trust, 2018).
Wabba recalled that the National Minimum Wage Committee had commenced work in March 2018 with timelines to arriving at a new national minimum wage in August/ September 2018 (Daily Trust, 2018).
He said, to meet this deadline, the committee worked assiduously and meticulously, but was shocked by the decision of government to adjourn the meeting of the committee indefinitely to enable consultations by the FG team (Daily Trust, 2018).
Wabba said the federal government’s decision was against the principle of collective bargaining (Daily Trust, 2018).
“Left with no other option, members of the Organised Labour served a 14-day notice on the Government to reconvene the meeting of the committee to enable it conclude its work. These are clear signs that the government is not ready for a new national minimum wage. It has only been taking workers for a ride,” Wabba said (Daily Trust, 2018).
He added that the warning strike is a precursor to the main strike which will be the mother of all strikes (Daily Trust, 2018).
The Organised Labour is demanding an upward review from N18,000 to N56,000 as minimum wage. But the government said state governments have not been able to agree on a figure (Daily Trust, 2018).
Ngige had earlier told State House reporters after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo that there was a communication gap between them and the organized labour, hence the threat for the warning strike (Daily Trust, 2018).
“Communication gap was discovered this morning; a breach in communication gap. They said they wrote a letter to me and the SGF but I didn’t see it,” he said. The meeting however deadlocked (Daily Trust, 2018).
This is to say that if the government does not yield to the ultimatum, an indefinite strike will be instituted. Therefore, all NDU students are advised to wait for the school management to release a circular to such effect.
Once the Niger Delta University release its circular, such will be posted here.
Daily Trust, (2018). Workers begin strike today over new minimum wage. Retrieved from https://www.dailytrust.com.ng/workers-begin-strike-today-over-new-minimum-wage.html
Michael O. Jules
Career Guidance Counsellor, Admissions and UTME Nigeria