Textile workers threaten strike over minimum wage

They condemned the Federal Government’s refusal to negotiate with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on the review of the minimum wage.

• Factional NLC leadership emerges in Nasarawa
• UITH pledges to pay doctors’ allowances

Members of the National Union of Textile, Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN) have threatened to commence a nationwide strike.The union’s President, John Adaji and Secretary General, Issa Aremu disclosed this yesterday at a press conference in Kaduna.

They condemned the Federal Government’s refusal to negotiate with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on the review of the minimum wage.The workers also urged government to resolve the disputes at the Pension Commission (PENCOM) and stop playing politics with the release of the Chibok schoolgirls.

“We commend the Senate and the House of Representatives for their roles in facilitating the current issue of N18, 000 national minimum wage. But, the responsibility lies with President Muhammadu Buhari to implement.”

Aremu explained that the minimum wage issue was about the rule of law.“The National Minimum Wage (Amendment) Act 2011, which offers the current N18, 000 was for a five-year cycle and due for review since 2015. The five-year time limit was to avoid a minimum wage stagnation and the attendant increases that follow.”

Aremu, who is a National Executive Council (NEC) member of the NLC, explained that: “Labour has also observed that the termination of a tenured appointment flouts the provision of the Pension Reform Act 2014.”

Meanwhile, the Nasarawa State chapter of the NLC has announced a new leadership of the union.The new Chairman, Bala Umaru, who announced the regime change at a press conference explained that the union removed Abdullahi Adeka over alleged gross compromise.

Umaru said: “In the last three years of his leadership, the union did not achieve anything in its struggle due to his double standard.”The union threatened to begin an indefinite strike today, if the government fails to implement an earlier agreement to pay workers all the backlog of their salaries.

But, the sacked chairman told newsmen that the decision to remove him in his absence was a nullity. He, however, said negotiations were ongoing with the state government in connection with the looming strike.

Also, the state chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools (ASUSS) has asked Governor Tanko Al-Makura to sack the Commissioner for Education Mr. Tijani Ahmed or risks a strike.

A statement by the Chairman, Gabrial Agbashi, said the commissioner was behind their unpaid wages.Meanwhile, the management of University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH) yesterday promised to pay the allowances of members of the Association of Residents Doctors (ARD).The hospital’s Chief Medical Director (CMD), Prof. A. W. O Olatinwo made the promise in a reaction to the three-day warning strike declared yesterday by the doctors.

In this article:
Issa Aremu
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