The Organised labour has resolved to continue the two-day warning strike should the federal government refuse to comply with them by dropping its figure for the implementation of the national minimum wage.
The organised unions who spoke through the Vice president, Nigeria Labour congress, Amechi Asugwni, while addressing workers before the mop-up demonstration, said that for the duration of the strike, they will be go round to ensure full enforcement of the action, including companies that will not adhere.
He also emphasized that labour does not expect to see any worker on duty neither should companies be operational, else they will be forced out and shut down.
“Nobody should be allowed to fly out of this country. We have not gone to the Airport but we will be there tomorrow (today). This strike will continue to linger until the federal government comply with us”.
“We have never gotten wage on a platter of gold. It has always been by struggle and we will keep struggling until we win”, he emphasized.
The NLC Vice President however wondered why the federal government has refused to drop its figure just like the other 21 governors had done after the promises made by the president.
“It is unbelievable that the federal government has failed and bluntly refused to drop its figure on the table even after setting up the committee and the promises. All we want is for the federal government to bring it to the table. There is no negotiation to this, there’s no private discussions to it”.
“This minimum wage we are asking of, is supposed to have been reviewed before now because according to law, it is reviewed every 5 years and it was last reviewed in 2011” he said.
He also made a call to president Buhari, to return from the UNGA because according to him, it was not what the committee bargained for.
“This is not what we bargained for. The federal government is playing on our intelligence. Their refusal is an insult to the committee and we will not take it. You imagine we went to demand for workers right at the table but we were told that there is nothing for us under the Labour ministry.” he said.
Speaking also, secretary general, Nigeria Union of Railway workers, Comrade Segun Esan said that the unions do not mean evil but that they are all out to start the strike and to sound a note of warning to the federal government.
“We are not out for evil. It is to start the strike, sound a note of warning because we got to know that the government is not ready to do anything so we realised that it can only be achieved by struggle.”
He however appealed to workers not to come to work tomorrow to avoid embarrassment because the strike is going to be stronger.
“Its either we struggle it now or we all go down and sink.” he said.
Also adding, Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions (ASSBIFI), Comrade Oyinkan Olasanoye, saluted the courage of Nigerian workers for co-oporating with labour on the warning strike. While clarifying the claim that the action is hinged on selfishness.
Olasanoye also noted that the unions had given the federal government enough time to put things in order but they did not.
She explained to some traders that the minimum wage they are clamouring on is for workers to have the ability to buy things and also to increase the nation’s GDP.
Meanwhile, PENGASSAN has assured their commitment towards the minimum wage by issuing a statement that it has concluded every necessary plan to join other unions in the general strike, while emphasising that all its members are clear on the position of the union towards ensuring that the federal government shows commitment to the minimum wage.
“We are to proceed on the action with immediate effect. However, those on critical and essential services are required to remain on their duty posts”.
The day 1 protest in Lagos started from the Lagos State Secretariat in Alausa, to Ikeja while shutting down banks and companies who failed to comply with the strike action.