The Federal Government might have successfully hoodwinked the organised labour into calling off its planned industrial action while at the same time having the last laugh on workers’ demand for a 30,000 minimum wage.
One after the other, unions across the country had expressed desire to ride out the storm alongside the organised labour. Many Nigerians, believing a major strike was imminent, had also hurriedly stocked up on fuel and other essential items.
But the Federal Government seemed to have tinkered craftily with time, engaging labour leaders in a protracted dialogue that began 11:30 a.m. and dragged into the D-Day.
If workers felt relieved the ‘mother of all strikes’ had been called off because labour leaders won the deal, signals from the presidency are showing the Federal Government has effectively deflated enthusiasm for the planned industrial action, while at the same time retaining the trump card to implement its own version of a new minimum wage.
A reliable labour source who was at the make-or-mar meeting had confided in The Guardian that indeed N30,000 was the final submission. But a witty agreement moved by the Federal Government had ensured the leaders kept a sealed lip until President Muhammadu Buhari received the report of the tripartite committee.
Nigerian workers have since waited anxiously for the president to mouth the happy disclosure. But this might never come. The conspicuous avoidance of the ‘N30,000 word’ in Buhari’s speech has raised concerns within labour ranks that the presidency is unwilling to transmit the agreed deal to the National Council of State and the National Assembly. Read more