Federal Workers Demand Unpaid Wages, Issue 72-Hour Ultimatum to Government

Federal workers in Nigeria have issued a 72-hour ultimatum to the Bola Tinubu-led Federal Government to pay their outstanding wage arrears for March, April, and May 2024.

This demand was articulated by the Workers Forum (FWF) in a communiqué released after an online meeting of federal workers across the country on Tuesday, 18th June 2024.

The communiqué, signed by Comrade Andrew Emelieze, National Coordinator of FWF, warned that if the arrears were not paid within the specified timeframe, federal workers would initiate widespread protests starting on 25th June 2024.

“The Federal Government should pay the arrears of wage awards for March, April, and May within 72 hours, or federal workers nationwide will embark on a continuous mass protest,” the communiqué stated.

The workers appealed to President Tinubu to empathise with their situation, noting that numerous arrears remain unpaid, including promotion arrears and recent 25%/35% pay adjustments for some public sector workers.

The workers said, “The Federal Government and President Tinubu should put themselves in the shoes of the federal workers and stop promoting poverty among workers with poor pay”.

“There are many more outstanding arrears of payment owed to the federal workers by the Federal Government; all these must be considered.”

They also criticised those urging the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) to accept the proposed ₦62,000 minimum wage by the FG, arguing that federal workers already earn above that amount.

“We are also disturbed that some persons and groups are appealing to labour to consider accepting a ₦62,000 minimum wage proposal, an amount that cannot sustain a newborn baby for a month, not to mention buying a bag of rice. To us, this is an act of wickedness,” the communiqué read.

“Federal Government workers already earn above the proposed ₦62,000 minimum wage. How can the FG want to systematically reduce the salaries of workers?

The current ₦30,000 minimum wage, added to the peculiar allowance of Buhari plus ₦35,000 wage award, already puts the federal workers’ pay above ₦62,000.”

The workers resolved that the ₦62,000 minimum wage proposal is far from a living wage and is, therefore, completely rejected by the federal workforce.

They further stated, “We have heard from Mr. President concerning the new national minimum wage, and the NLC/TUC should immediately resume the suspended indefinite national strike if the outstanding three months’ wage award arrears are not paid by Monday, 24th June 2024.”

“We, the federal workers, are ready for another round of indefinite national strike and protest.

“Labour should not hesitate to take action if the Federal Government continues to remain adamant about paying a living wage.

“Federal workers have suffered enough; it is now very difficult for us to cope. We urge the Federal Government to reason with us.”

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