The two main workers’ unions in Nigeria on Thursday commenced a nationwide strike after several months of failed discussions with the government on working conditions and minimum wage levels.
The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), composed of workers, and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), a professional and managerial trade union, asked their members in the public and private sectors to stop work at midnight on Thursday.
“The minimum wage is based on a law, there would be enactment and we want all those to happen quickly so that a new minimum wage can actually come on board, and that’s where we are,” said Peter Ozo-Eson, Secretary General NLC.
The minimum wage is based on a law, there would be enactment and we want all those to happen quickly
Public workers in the capital, Abuja and Lagos observed the strike action as government complex housing most federal departments and government agencies was almost deserted.
“We gave fourteen days notice, even a deaf man will know that something is happening within fourteen days, Government did nothing about it, so at the end of the day, we are forced to say okay, our organ said if government will not listen to you in fourteen days, there’s no chance that it will listen to you again,“said Secretary General TUC, Musa Lawal.
Trade unionists are demanding a minimum wage of between 45,000 and 65,000 naira (107-154 euros) against the current wage of 18,000 naira (42.6 euros).
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Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, and United Labour Congress of Nigeria, ULC, had on Tuesday directed all their affiliate unions and state councils nationwide to begin strike.