Categories
News

Minimum Wage: N60,000 Too High – Governors

Governors of the 36 states of the Federation have said they cannot pay N60,000 minimum wage proposed by the Federal Government.
The Director Media and Public Affairs of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF, Hajiya Halimah Salihu Ahmed stated this on Friday.
The governors said the N60,000 wage is not realistic and unsustainable.
They argued that if implemented, it would force some states in the country to be borrowing to pay workers’ salaries.
“The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) is in agreement that a new minimum wage is due. The Forum also sympathises with labour unions in their push for higher wages.
 
“However, the Forum urges all parties to consider the fact that the minimum wage negotiations also involve consequential adjustments across all cadres, including pensioners.
 
“The NGF cautions parties in this important discussion to look beyond just signing a document for the sake of it; any agreement to be signed should be sustainable and realistic.
 
“All things considered, the NGF holds that the N60,000 minimum wage proposal is not sustainable and cannot fly. It will simply mean that many states will spend all their FAAC allocations on just paying salaries with nothing left for development purposes.
 
“In fact, a few states will end up borrowing to pay workers every month. We do not think this will be in the collective interest of the country, including workers.
 
“We appeal that all parties involved, especially the labour unions, consider all the socioeconomic variables and settle for an agreement that is sustainable, durable, and fair to all other segments of the society who have legitimate claim to public resources,” parts of the statement read.
Recall that the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, and the Trade Union Congress, TUC, embarked on an indefinite strike after rejecting the Federal Government’s N60,000 offer.
The labour leaders later announced that they would relax the strike action for one week, to give room for further negotiations with the Federal Government, which had promised to increase the wage from N60,000.
Categories
News

We Are On Strike, Stay At Home – NLC Tells Workers

The Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, has instructed Nigerian workers to stay at home as it embarks on a Nationwide strike today, June 3.

The NLC made this known in a post shared on its X handle this morning June 3.

The decision of the Organised Labour to continue with its nationwide strike followed the deadlock meeting it had with the Federal Government and the National Assembly leaders over a new national minimum wage and reversal of the recent hike in electricity tariffs.

The labour unions argue that the current minimum wage of ₦30,000 can no longer cater to the wellbeing of an average Nigerian worker, lamenting that not all governors are paying the current wage award which expired in April 2024, five years after the Minimum Wage Act of 2019 was signed by former President Muhammadu Buhari. The Act should be reviewed every five years to meet up with contemporary economic demands of workers.

Labour later handed the Federal Government a May 31 deadline for the a new minimum wage. On May 31, the Labour union declared a nationwide strike beginning from Monday, June 3, 2024 over the government committee’s inability to agree on a new minimum wage and reversal of electricity tariff hike.

During the failed talks with the government, Labour rejected three government’s offers, the latest being N60,000. Both the TUC and the NLC subsequently pulled out of negotiations, insisting on ₦497,000 as the new minimum wage.

Categories
Entertainment News

BREAKING: NLC, TUC Summon Extraordinary NEC Meeting Over Wednesday Strike

An extraordinary National Executive Council meeting has been summoned by Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress.
The meeting comes just a day to its proposed nationwide strike taking place on Wednesday.
During the meeting, the organized labour will review the modalities of the planned strike following the attack on the National President of the NLC, Joe Ajaero, review the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Federal Government and the Organized Labour on October 2, 2023, following the removal of the subsidy on fuel.
TUC’s National Vice-President, Tommy Etim, disclosed the summon on Tuesday.
The organized labour had on Friday last week, issued a five-day ultimatum ahead of its protest against Ajaero’s arrest in Owerri, Imo State.
The labour centres demanded the redeployment of the commissioner of police in the state and the arrest and prosecution of the aide of the governor alleged to have perpetrated the attack.
The unions also threatened to embark on a nationwide strike if their demands were not met in five days.
Ajaero was arrested by the police ahead of the state-wide protest in Imo on Wednesday.
Categories
Entertainment News

BREAKING: NLC, TUC To Embark On Nationwide Strike From October 3

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) have agreed to embark on a nationwide strike from Tuesday, October 3, 2023.

The decision was reached by the organised Labour Unions on Tuesday after the failure of the Federal Government to successfully implement policies to alleviate the sufferings of Nigerians.

The organised labour unions had made demands from the Federal Government following the removal of the subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit.

Among other things, the NLC and the TUC are asking for wage awards, implementation of palliatives, tax exemptions and allowances to public sector workers and a review of the minimum wage.

The National President of NLC, Joe Ajaero during a virtual National Executive Council meeting which was held on Zoom, Tuesday told members of NEC that a meeting was held with the officials of the TUC to deliberate on ways forward.

Ajaero noted that it was resolved that the two centres work together to make their stance known to the government.

A source who was present at the meeting who spoke with Punch noted that some members of the NLC initially objected to the development of the NLC working together with the TUC.

The source said, “Initially some members did not want us to work with the TUC but as of now, we don’t have a choice. The government has not been proactive. So it is going to be a definite action this time around.” my

Categories
News

NLC Threatens To Embark On Indefinite Strike If Petrol Price Rises Further

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has threatened to embark on another strike if the pump price of petrol increases from the existing N617 naira.

Recall that oil marketers had indicated that the cost of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, would rise to between N680/litre and N720/litre in the coming weeks should the dollar continue to trade from N910 to N950 at the parallel market.

The marketers added that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Importers and Exporters’ official window for foreign exchange had remained illiquid and unable to provide the $25m to $30m required for the importation of PMS by dealers.

They also hinted that its members seeking to import petrol were being forced to put the plans on hold due to the scarcity of foreign exchange to import the commodity.

Speaking at the African Trade Union Alliance meeting in Abuja on Monday, the NLC President, Joe Ajaero said the union will proceed on total, comprehensive and indefinite nationwide shutdown of the country.

Ajaero also warned the federal government against undermining the demands of the union and the plan to provide palliatives to Nigerians and workers.

Categories
News

BREAKING: Labour May Reconsider Planned Protest

On Tuesday, the Organised Labour gave an indication that it may reconsider its planned nationwide protest scheduled to commence on Wednesday, The Nation reports.

Secretary of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) Emma Ugbaja gave the indication at the end of the Presidential Steering Committee on Palliatives meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He argued that though the measures announced Monday evening by President Bola Tinubu were welcoming, they were not far-reaching enough.

He however said the Labour team would go back to the bodies they represent to consort to achieve consensus on the next line of action.

Details Shortly…

Categories
News

Fuel Subsidy: Nigerians Lost Peace of Mind On May 29 – NLC Laments

The Nigeria Labour Congress has lamented the hardship in the country.
Speaking on Wednesday, NLC said Nigerians lost their peace of mind following the “Subsidy is gone” comment made by President Bola Tinubu during his May 29, 2023, inauguration.
The labour congress in a statement jointly signed by the national president, Joe Ajaero and Secretary-General, Emmanuel Ugboaja, in Abuja, faulted the Tinubu administration over its“unfriendly” policies while adding that the administration had continued to treat Nigerians as slaves.
The NLC, however, noted that it would mobilise a nationwide strike on August 2,2023 should the government fail to meet all its demands namely the immediate reversal of all “anti-poor policies such as the hike in price of Premium Motor Spirit; increase in public schools’ fees; increase in Value Added Tax among others”.
The statement partly reads, “The Central Working Committee of the NLC observed that the Federal Government has shown enormous disdain and contempt for Nigerian people and workers having acted and continued to act without regard to the welfare and cries of the citizenry.
That Government seems to have declared a war of attrition on Nigerian workers and masses without any care leaving them to the throes of hopelessness and helplessness; the Federal Government has refused to put in place safeguards to protect Nigerians from the harsh economic situation that its policies have inflicted on the people rather it has decided to insult the sensibilities of Nigerian masses by offering us N8,000 per family and offering themselves N70bn.
 
“That the Federal Government has frustrated and abandoned its own committee which was a product of social dialogue between the government and workers’ organisations in the country. While the committee has not met, the government embarked on unilateral actions and programmes.
 
“That since Mr. President’s “subsidy is gone forever” speech at the inauguration day; the peace of mind of Nigerians has gone; decent living gone increasing despair of unimaginable dimensions. That the federal government has continued to treat Nigerians as slaves and conquered people which it treats with impunity without any concern on the consequences.
 
“That the Federal Government has continued in an unholy mission of robbing the poor to pay the rich in Nigeria as typified by its continued frustration of the activation of the agreed alternatives to Premium Motor Spirit and new hike in prices of PMS to N617 per litre.”
 
Speaking further, the NLC noted that the Federal Government has continued to promote the“gang-up of the ruling elite against the Nigerian people and workers; churn out without relenting policies designed to emasculate Nigerian workers and people via not just increases in PMS prices with its spiralling effect but also increases in VAT, increases in school fees across all publicly-owned secondary and tertiary institutions of learning.”
 
On its next steps, the NLC noted that it had received pressure from Nigerians who have been calling on it to lead a national strike.
The congress also noted that it had reached a breaking point hence it would, “give the Federal Government a seven-day ultimatum within which to meet all our demands and to embark on a nationwide action beginning Wednesday the 2nd of August, 2023 to compel the government to reverse its anti-poor and anti-workers policies.”
Categories
News

NLC Reacts As Petrol Price Surpasses N550 Per Litre

Investigation has revealed that petrol is currently selling above N550 per litre.
This is as a result of the removal of fuel subsidy.
Also, the ex-depot price of petrol has risen by 4.3% to N490 per litre, prompting petrol stations to hike their prices accordingly.
According to Vanguard, some stations in Lagos are now selling fuel for more than N500 per litre, a significant jump from the previous price of N488 per litre.
Despite the price hikes, the Nigeria National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited continues to sell fuel to major marketers at N446.57 per litre.
However, independent marketers in Lagos who purchase petrol at N490 per litre are dispensing it at N520 per litre at their stations, depending on the location.
While NNPC Limited maintains a selling price of N488 per litre at their retail stations in Lagos, major marketers have set their prices between N488 and N492 per litre, with location again playing a significant role in pricing.
Reacting to this new development, the President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Joe Ajaero, said organised labour was not “surprised by the antics of the marketers; that is why we are working on an alternative.
 
“PMS (petrol) is now for the rich. So, by the time we are through with alternatives, PMS will be left for the rich.”
Ajaero had earlier said as an alternative to PMS, Labour “came up with a module of having a Compressed National Gas, CNG, based on the fact that Nigeria has large natural gas deposits.”
He added, “The study we found, especially the pilot study conducted in the Edo area where about 10,000 vehicles were converted to CNG, shows and the report came out from the mouth of the former Minister of State Petroleum Timipre Sylva, that a litre of gas CNG will cost about N90.
 
“On the basis of that, even Innoson Motors came to address us and said he was going to produce vehicles that will have provision for CNG and PMS, so if you don’t want to buy PMS at N500 and above per litre, you buy CNG.
 
“If you want to buy CNG at N90 per litre, buy it. But in the construction of the vehicles, you have a switch to whatever you want. If you switch to CNG, you use CNG; if you switch to PMS, you use PMS.
 
“It is now left for all Nigerians to determine the one that is our target. At least the labour movement has been able to think outside the box to provide this alternative.”
Categories
News

Strike: Order Restraining NLC, TUC Subsists – Court

Following the planned industrial action by the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, and Trade Union Congress, TUC, the National Industrial Court has declared on Monday, that the order restraining them from doing so still subsists.

Justice Olufunke Anuwe stated that the order, as granted on June 5, subsists pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.

The court, in addition, ordered that parties maintain the status quo and adjourned the matter until July 20 for hearing.

Earlier, when the case was called, the Federal Government’s counsel, Mr Ochum Emmanuel, informed the court that the matter was slated for Monday for the claimant to take its motion on notice for an interlocutory injunction to restrain the defendants from embarking on strike.

He added that he was ready to proceed with his application as the defendants had been served.

Mr Marshall Abubakar, the defendants’ counsel on his part, however, replied that they had filed an application praying the court to set aside its order granted on June 5, restraining his clients from embarking on strike.

Abubakar further submitted that the claimant was served the application on June 8, only for them to turn around and serve on them a counter-affidavit on Monday in court.

He added that the claimant filed the counter-affidavit on June 16 and instructed the bailiff not to serve them until Monday in court.

The court enquired if the defence was properly served before the court, Abubakar responded that he was not certain, but that he will find out and do the needful.

He also prayed for a short adjournment in order to look at the counter-affidavit and respond.

Emmanuel, in response, opposed Abubakar’s application for adjournment and urged the court to allow him to take his motion on notice which was slated for hearing.

The counsel also reiterated that the federal government would never file a process and instruct any bailiff not to serve the other party.

He argued that it was probably because he filed the processes late on June 16 that made the bailiff serve defence counsel in court on Monday.

Emmanuel, in his submission, equally averred that the defendants were not properly before the court as they had not filed their memorandum of appearance but only came to urge the court to vacate the order it granted on June 5.

He stated that the defendants being not properly before the court cannot seek an adjournment.

In addition, he submitted that if the court should deem it fit to grant Abubakar’s application for an adjournment, the court should equally declare that the order restraining the defendants from embarking on strike granted on June 5 subsist.

In his reply, Abubakar submitted that Emmanuel’s application was not necessary as the court had earlier stated that parties should maintain status quo pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.

He also informed the court that parties were meeting later on Monday to try and resolve the issue.

The court, in its ruling, granted the application for adjournment, directed the defendants to enter their memorandum of appearance and instructed parties to maintain the status quo.

From facts, the defendants had planned to embark on a nationwide strike on June 7 to protest the fuel subsidy removal that brought about the new pump price for the Premium Motor Spirit.

The federal government had therefore instituted the suit to stop the defendants, stating that the proposed strike may gravely affect the larger society and the well-being of the nation at large.

The claimant, in addition, stated that the strike is capable of disrupting economic activities that will affect especially the health and the educational sector.

Categories
News

Susidy Removal: Why We Did Not Embark On Nationwide Strike

The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC has explained why it did not embark on an industrial action scheduled for Wednesday, June 7, over the removal of fuel subsidy.

It revealed that it decided to call off its strike over the removal of fuel subsidy partly in obedience to an order of the National Industrial Court (NICN).

In a communique issued after an emergency National Executive Council meeting on Tuesday, June 6, the NLC faulted the court order, saying it amounted to an abuse of ex-parte injunction.

The group directed all affiliates and state councils to suspend mobilisation until the outcome of the negotiations.

The statement read;

“An emergency National Executive Council (NEC) of the Congress which was called to discuss the outcome of the Dialogue between the NLC and the Federal Government on the petroleum products price hike after extensive deliberation observed that:

“The previous NEC-in-session had ordered a nationwide withdrawal of services and mass protest over the petroleum price hike by the federal government;

“Whereas the Federal Government was in breach of the 2023 Appropriation Act, the NLC will not encourage lawlessness on its part;

“Taking into account that the Federal Government has procured a court injunction restraining Congress from proceeding with the proposed nationwide strike as the NEC-in-session had ordered to begin, Wednesday, the 7th of June, 2023;

“Recognising the willingness of government for continuous engagement through dialogue and to offer reasonable palliatives in due course to cushion the effect of its policies and some levels of understanding reached;

“Considering the mood of the socio-polity last elections and the need to pursue national stability;

“Consequently, the NEC-in-session resolved as follows: to commend and applaud the diligence of the Congress’ leadership in carrying out the assignment given to it by NEC.

“To demonstrate to the Federal Government the need to comply with the laws of the land especially as it concerns obedience to the rulings of the courts and their brazen disregard to the 2023 Appropriation Act

“To, therefore, support and accept the decision of the leadership of Congress to suspend the proposed strike action in compliance with the flawed rulings of the NIC and also allow negotiations to flow freely and enable final agreement during or after the 19th June 2023 negotiation round with the federal government

“To, however, register in strongest terms its disgust and disapproval with the ruling of the National Industrial Court (NIC) for its continuous weaponisation of the instrument of ex-parte injunction in favour of government against the interests of Nigerian workers in defiance of the position of the Supreme Court on the use of this instrument.

“All Affiliates and State Councils of Congress are hereby directed to suspend further action and mobilisation until the outcome of the final negotiations.

“To commend all affiliates and state councils on their robust mobilisation towards a successful nationwide strike action and to also remain vigilant in case there is a need to continue.”