Minimum wage: Labour unions under fire for insisting on nationwide strike - Saga Gist - Top Source for Nigeria News

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Tuesday, October 15

Minimum wage: Labour unions under fire for insisting on nationwide strike




The Coalition of Nigerian Youths for Good Governance (CNYGG) on Tuesday lambasted labour unions for insisting on embarking on industrial action, following breakdown of negotiation with Federal Government over the new minimum wage.
CNYGG described labour unions unrelenting attitude towards embarking on strike over the proposed salary increase across board as unpatriotic.
In a statement signed by President of the group, Mr. Tari George, the group stressed that dialogue should be the only way, adding that the action of labour unions to call for a nationwide strike is not in the interest of Nigerians.
The Nigeria Labour Congress had demanded 45 per cent salary increase across board while the Federal Government offered nine per cent increase across the board for those who are earning above the minimum wage threshold since the government has already made provision for the N30, 000 minimum wage in 2020 Budget.
The lack of agreement had led to labour bodies insisting on embarking on industrial strike.
However, CNYGG said dialogue between the Federal Government and labour unions is the proper way to go, stressing that, a nationwide strike is not in the interest of anybody.
CNYGG argued that since dialogue was used to achieve the N30,000 Minimum Wage between the labour unions and government, the same approach should be used for salary increase.
“It is not in the interest of Nigeria and Nigerians that labour unions embark on strike and paralyse the economy, it is not short of being selfish. If dialogue was used to achieve the N30,000 minimum wage, then dialogue should be used in achieving the salary increase.
“Going on strike is not good for any economy and certainly not good for ours too. This strike can cause artificial inflation asides from the fact that it will cost the country millions, if not billions of naira in revenue. This is the revenue that should have been used to pay this salary increase they are clamouring for,” the CNYGG said.
The group noted that President Muhammadu Buhari’s government has done more for workers than any other government since Nigeria returned to democracy.
“This government has done more workers than any government since 1999. The Buhari government bailed State Governments out when they were owing many months of salary. The Paris Club bailout ensured that workers across the country were paid backlog of salaries.
“This government has also never shied from dialogue with labour, the Minimum Wage is the latest example not to mention payment of pension and restructuring of loans for State Government so that they can meet up with their obligations.”
The group said President Buhari’s commitment to Nigerian workers in not in doubt, stressing that “President Buhari once asked how State Governors are able to sleep at night without paying salary, this shows you how committed he is to the welfare of workers.”
CNYGG pointed out that President Buhari has also provided insurance, housing and health schemes that workers have benefited from.
“For a government that has done so much for workers welfare, they deserve some level of reciprocity from labour unions,” it added.

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