THE organised labour Wednesday drew the battle line with the Federal Government as it gave September 28 deadline for the government to reverse the recent increase in fuel and electricity tariff or face the wrath of the Nigerian workers.
The organised labour threatened that it would be left with no other option if the government did not heed to the advice than to shut down the economy.
This was the decision reached at the end of a meeting of its Central Working Committee, CWC, that lasted for several hours at the Labour House, Abuja.
This is as the labour union said that it had reached out to civil society groups and social partners not to support the government on the price hike.
The meeting was attended by the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC and the Trade Union Congress, TUC.
In a communiqué read by the President of NLC, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, the union argued that the hike has rendered the new minimum wage of N30, 000 worthless owing to rising inflation across the country.
According to him, “The National Administrative Council, as well as the Central Working Committee of the NLC, has just ended its meeting. The meeting was convened to look at the twin issue of the hike in electricity tariff and also the fuel price increase.
“The CWC has noted that these twin increase despite the fact that is ill-timed because of COVID-19 is also bad because of the socio-economic situation of the country,
“The CWC also identified the fact that the policy has reduced the purchasing power of Nigerians as well as Nigerian workers. Also, it has brought about a high cost of goods and services, and importantly, has eroded completely, the gains of the N30,000 minimum wage.
“The CWC also looked at the report of the meeting that took place between the federal government and organized labour where NLC was represented by 14 of its leaders and therefore resolved as follows:
“The CWS resolved to issue a 2 weeks (11 days from Wednesday) ultimatum to the federal government to reverse or face industrial action and peaceful assembly
“In furtherance to this, CWC resolved also to convey a meeting of National Executive Council in line with our constitution on the 22nd of September, 2020 to give effect to this decision because the proposal for the action is to commence on Monday, September 28, 2020, if those issues are not addressed.
“NLC Central Working Committee also will mobilise its members, our civil society allies and other social partners to try to resist this policy because it has driven many into poverty.”
Lamenting the sorry state of affairs in the country, Wabba added that there were instances where the cost of electricity has been established to be more than the minimum wage.
He said, “This afternoon, CWC members were sharing their experiences arising from the exploitative nature of these policies where it is very evident that in some cases, even the N30,000 minimum wage cannot even pay for the electricity bill.
“In fact, the experience we have here is that somebody loaded credit of N30, 000 but it didn’t take him up to two weeks. This has been the experience all over the country. So, it is a decision that is biting at every worker, every family and I think it is a decision that certainly requires reversal.”