Workers Threaten Three Days Warning Strike Over Wage Award

Construction workers in Nigeria have threatened to embark on three days warning strike over the non-implementation of the wage award for workers in the construction industry.

The workers operate under the aegis of National Union of Civil Engineering Construction, Furniture and Wood Workers (NUCECFWW) and Construction and Civil Engineering Senior Staff Association (CCESSA).

The unions conveyed their grievance and warning at a joint news conference by Mr Stephen Okoro, National President, NUCECFWW, and Comrade Ayodeji Adeyemo, National President, CCESSA on Thursday in Abuja.

The national presidents said that if nothing positive was done after the warning strike, indefinite action would commence.

The duo said that the Construction Civil Engineering, Employers Association of Nigeria (CCEAN) was frustrating efforts of the unions on the implementation of the wage award in line with the agreement between the Federal Government and the organised labour.

“It mat interest you to know that before the fuel subsidy withdrawal by President Bola Tinubu administrion, NUCECFWW and CCESSA have written to Employers Association in March, 2023 requesting for a meeting to discuss palliatives for workers, considering the harsh economic conditions of construction workers.

“This request was flatly refused by the Employers Association via a reply to our joint letter with a flimsy excuse that we should await the outcome of discussions between the Federal Government and organised Labour.

“Subsequently, after the conclusion of the negotiation between the Federal Government and the organised labour, CCESSA and NUCECFWW requested for a meeting with Federation of Construction Industry(FOCI).

“The intrigues started at this point; culminating in the refusal of FOC to hold further discussions on wage awards; this necessitated the issuance of strike notice; FOCI, however, reported to the Ministry of Labour and the unions were invited to the ministry for conciliation.

“Arising from the above, two separate meetings were held at the instance of the Minister of Labour; on each occasion, representative of the minister advised the parties to dialogue and agree on what to pay as wage award to workers in the construction industry.

“But despite this advice, the employers in the construction industry flagrantly refused and boasted that, even the Federal Government cannot compel them to pay wage award.’’

They said that unions further reached out to some selected chief executives of construction companies for consultations but were rebuffed.

According to them, employers in the construction industry in Nigeria have refused the option of dialogue but chose to adopt confrontational approach.

“It is against this background that workers in the industry under the umbrella of NUCECFWW and CCESSA have resolved to take their destiny in their hands by calling on the employers in the construction industry to respect the sanctity and spirit of the wage award agreement.

“That in the case of any further delay, workers in the construction industry will be left with no other option than to proceed on industrial action any moment from now to press home our demand,’’ the duo said.


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