Nigeria: General Strike as Government Fails to Meet Minimum Wage Pledge

The ITUC has called on the Nigerian government to live up to its commitment to negotiate a living minimum wage with the country’s trade union movement.

Despite a promise to conclude negotiations by the end of this month, the government has made no serious move to hold discussions with the unions. In response, the ITUC-affiliated Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria have today launched a general strike in order to bring the government to the negotiating table.

“We have called on the government to immediately start negotiations with the trade union movement, and have pledged our full solidarity to the unions in their national industrial action. The current minimum wage was set six years ago, and it is not a living wage today. Nigerian workers and their families should not have to wait yet longer for wage justice,” said ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow.

Commenting on resistance from state governors to setting a new minimum wage, Nigeria Labour Congress President Ayuba Wabba said, “We do believe that the reasons why governors find it difficult to pay the national minimum wage are lack of political will, high level of corruption, excessive cost of governance, indulgence in obscene lifestyle and white elephant projects.”