Minimum Wage: Niger workers commence strike

•Niger State Governor Bello

Workers in Niger State are set to begin an indefinite strike following the expiration of a 21-day ultimatum given to the state government to implement the new minimum wage across board.

While the ultimatum was on, the government commenced the payment but only for workers on grade levels 1-6 blaming inadequate funds for its action.

Governor Abubakar Sani Bello had also claimed that 80 per cent of the state’s revenue is committed to the payment of salaries and allowances, insisting that if government pays the minimum wage across board “civil servants will smile but other people in the state will be at the receiving end”.

Rising from an emergency Joint State Executive Council meeting held at the Labour House on Monday, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) directed all civil servants in the state to proceed on an indefinite strike effective midnight February 4, 2020.

“You are to please note that the strike shall be comprehensive and will remain in force until the government addresses the following lingering issues:

“Demonstrate a clear and adequate commitment on pension administration in Niger State including recovering the funds embezzled by previous administration.

“Immediate resumption of payment of outstanding annual leave grants for year 2019 to desirable workers at both the state and local government areas.

“Immediate implementation of thirty thousand naira minimum wage, its consequential adjustment and accrued arrears to all category of workers at both the state and local government area levels,” NLC said.

The statement jointly signed by the state NLC Chairman, Mr. Yakubu Garba, and the state Trade Union Congress (TUC) Chairman, Mr. Tanimu Yunusa, urged workers to be law abiding during the strike and refuse to engage in any form of protest.

“They (workers) are to remain at home and await further directives from the organized labour,” it said.

There has been no reaction to the latest development from the government. (THISDAY)

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