The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has directed an indefinite strike in 18 states that have yet to commence payment of the new minimum wage.
Organised labour directed workers in the states to proceed on strike immediately in a communiqué issued at the end of the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the NLC held in Abuja on Wednesday.
States that have yet to implement the N30,000 minimum wage include Imo, Rivers, Osun, Ekiti, Ebonyi, Kwara, Zamfara, Gombe, Rivers and Ogun States.
The communique signed by NLC President, Mr Ayuba Wabba and General Secretary, Mr Emma Ugboaja read in part, “The NEC also resolved to view the refusal to pay the new national minimum wage by state governments as demanded by the law as an act of criminality, betrayal of the oath of office sworn by state chief executives and a dangerous adventure in anarchy.
“The NEC-in-Session directed all states where the national minimum wage of N30,000 is yet to be paid to immediately proceed on industrial action.”
The union expressed concern on the inability of African countries including Nigeria to develop anti-COVID-19 vaccines in light of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It traced the research failure in Nigeria to poor commitment of Nigerian government to funding research and innovation.
Also, the union lamented the persistent crisis of insecurity in Nigeria manifested in terrorism, kidnap-for-ransom, banditry and inter-communal clashes that have displaced millions, made many places inaccessible and ruined livelihoods.
It expressed worries that many Nigerian workers and citizens are daily felling victims to the searing siege of insecurity in the land.
The union also frowned at the increasing attack against workers and trade union rights by employers of labour in both the public and private sector.
“NEC berated the management of Corporate Affairs Commission for attempts to kill unionism in the establishment especially through punitive transfer of trade union executives, withholding of workers’ salaries and refusal to remit statutory deductions.
“Also, the case of sack of trade union executives by Turkish Airline and the anti-unionization stance of Caverton Helicopters was discussed by NEC.
“NEC deplored the industrial tyranny by Turkish Airlines and Caverton Helicopters.
“The NEC also decried continued violation of workers’ rights in the banking sector especially through imposition of outrageous targets and absence of formal machinery for collective bargaining.”