THE Federal Government, Wednesday, explained that the reason for the scheduled parley with executives of the organized labour was to avert the threat of industrial action over the new minimum wage of N30,000
But labour has also told the government that it has passed the stage of attending meetings with the government, contending that what mattered to the workers was the transmission of Minimum Wage Bill to the National Assembly.
The Federal Government through the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige has invited executives of the organized labour for a meeting on Friday at the Conference Hall of the ministry.
A statement signed by the Director of Press, Ministry of Information, Samuel Olowookere in Abuja, Wednesday, read, “Towards nipping in the bud threat of national industrial action by the Nigerian Labour Congress ( NLC ) over the transmission of the New National Minimum Wage to the National Assembly.
“The Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment Sen. Chris Ngige is scheduled to hold a meeting with the Executives of the Organised Labour Union…”
But when contacted to confirm receipt of invitation for the meeting, General Secretary of the Nigeria Labour Congress,
NLC , Dr. Peter Ozo-Eson, said that the labour had received letter from the labour ministry for a meeting on Friday.
He told Vanguard that labour would honour the invitation, though it (labour) had passed the stage of attending meetings on the issue of minimum wage, adding that what was expected of government (the executive) was to forward a bill to the national assembly for the enactment of new minimum wage act.
He said, “Yes, we received a letter from the Ministry of Labour inviting us to a meeting on Friday. Although for us, we don’t know what those meetings are for because what needs to be done now is not meetings.
“But in our tradition, (if) you invite us to a meeting, we will come to listen to you. But we have passed the stage of meetings upon meetings what needs to be done is for the bill to be sent to the National Assembly, but we will attend the meeting.”
Recall that the organized labour had given the government December 31, 2018 ultimatum to forward a bill on the N30,000 national Minimum Wage to the National Assembly or it would embark on a total shutdown of the economy from January 8, 2019.