Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) has welcomed the 14-day ultimatum issued to the Federal Government to complete all negotiations on new national minimum wage by three labour centres.
The Acting National Chairman, Abiodun Bamgboye and National Secretary, Chinedu Bosah, made the assertion in a joint statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) in Ibadan on Thursday.
The party said the current N18,000 minimum wage was due for upward review since January 2016.
NAN recalls that Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and United Labour Congress (ULC) had at a joint news held in Lagos on Wednesday, September 12, announced the 14-day ultimatum.
“It is our belief that the agreement among the three labour centres to organise the first of its kind news conference since the commencement of the negotiation on the new minimum wage, is a right step in a right direction,” it said.
The party stated that the Federal and state governments and organised private sector had been taken the advantage of the inability of the three labour centres to agree.
It said that except the labour centres form a common front, the Federal Government would continue to take the advantage of the disharmony among them to postpone the approval of a new minimum wage.
According to the party, this is why the Minister of Labour, Dr Chris Ngige had reneged on his earlier promise during a 40th anniversary of the NLC that new minimum wage will commence implementation by September.
“The minister had few days ago suddenly announced the indefinite adjournment of activities of the tripartite committee negotiating the new minimum wage when workers are awaiting the commencement of the new minimum wage.”
The party frowned at the pronouncement, which it said was tantamount to the act of changing the goal post in the middle of the game.
It commended the initiative of the three labour centres to organise a joint news conference not to only condemn the indefinite adjournment of the committee, but to issue 14 days ultimatum to complete all the negotiations necessary.
The SPN strongly felt the ultimatum must not be limited to just media pronouncement, urging the labour leaders to commence immediate mobilisation and sensitisation of the workers and other poor Nigerians.
It called on the labour centres to be prepared for a 24-hour warning general strike and mass protest as a first step to commence the struggle for the approval should the Federal Government fail to respect the 14 days ultimatum.
“A minimum wage that will bring a significant improvement in the living condition of the working people is possible.
“This is only if the collective resources of the country are collectively-owned and placed under democratic management of the elected representatives of workers and the other categories of the working people,” it said.