Labour unions in Enugu State, including the Nigeria Labour Congress, Trade Union Congress, Nigeria Union of Teachers as well the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees, have begun a three-day warning strike on Wednesday, over non-payment of minimum wage to primary school teachers and local government workers.
The industrial action is meant to force the local government authorities to start paying their workers the N30,000 national minimum wage.
The Enugu State Government has already commenced the payment of the new minimum wage to teachers in secondary schools and the core civil servants in March 2021.
State chairman of the TUC, Bennett Asogwa, said the strike was in solidarity with NULGE members.
“We are embarking on a solidarity strike for the local government workers and the primary school teachers. They ought to be paid the minimum wage. They don’t have a separate market,” he said.
The NULGE President, Kenneth Ugwueze, also said they started the warning strike with the main purpose of demanding minimum wage for local government workers and primary school teachers.
“We have been dialoguing with the authorities for a long time to no avail and other labour unions decided to sympathise with us over our situation,” Ugwueze said.
Meanwhile, the outgoing chairman of Enugu East Local Government Area, Alex Ugwu, said the council chairmen lacked the financial capacity to pay the minimum wage.
Ugwu said in spite of the financial autonomy the councils are now enjoying, they cannot pay the minimum wage.
He said, “It is not as if the chairmen do not want to pay the minimum wage. We don’t have the fund to do so.
“Will it be nice we start paying the minimum wage and later stop or start owing?”