Labour Begins Nationwide Strike Today

organized labour in Nigeria has withdrawn their services in a nationwide strike to push for a new and higher national minimum wage. This industrial action comes after unsuccessful negotiations between the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), and federal government representatives.

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The negotiations broke down last week after the government offered a marginal increase of N3,000 to the previous N57,000 proposal, bringing it to a total of N60,000. However, this figure was deemed unsatisfactory by the labour unions, who are insisting on a minimum wage of N494,000 to reflect the current high cost of living.

With the start of the nationwide strike today, various labour unions have confirmed their participation, including the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), National Union of Banks Insurance and Financial Institutions Employees (NUBIFIE), the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE), the National Union of Civil Engineering, Construction, Furniture and Wood Workers (NUCECFWW), and the Medical and Health Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MHWUN), among others.

The strike is also expected to affect sectors such as banking, oil and gas, insurance, aviation, maritime, universities, and media, as unions in these industries have confirmed their participation.

Despite efforts by the National Assembly to mediate and avert the strike, the negotiations between the government and the labour unions have failed to reach an agreement. The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Prince Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, has described the proposed strike as “premature, ineffectual and illegal,” arguing that the negotiation process is still ongoing.

However, the labour unions remain adamant, insisting that the strike will continue until the government meets their demand for a higher national minimum wage.

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