Nigerian oil union threatens strike over minimum wage


Nigeria’s senior oil workers’ union PENGASSAN said it would join a three-day strike this week, including shutting down oil and gas installations, after it said the government and private sector employers failed to implement a minimum wage law.

President Goodluck Jonathan signed a bill passed by parliament more than three months ago more than doubling the monthly minimum wage to 18,000 naira from 7,500 naira. But, unions say government departments and private employers have failed to raise pay.

The two largest labour unions, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), are already in discussions with the government after agreeing to begin a three-day strike on July 20, Reuters reports.
“Government at all levels and the private sector must implement the minimum wage law and pay the wages as provide by the law,” Babatunde Ogun, president of PENGASSAN, said in a statement.

A strike by oil workers would be damaging for Africa’s largest crude exporter. However, widespread action has been rare in recent years and previous walkouts tended to last only a day or two, in a country where much of the population is employed in the informal economy and get by on $2 a day or less.