“Poverty among working class has continued to increase”– NLC President

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[Abuja]–The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba has lamented that poverty is on the increase among the working class and that various government policies has continued to impoverish the Nigerian people, as they are designed to consistently favored employers against the workers and the Nigerian people.

He made this revelation at the 2017 Pre- May Day Lecture entitled “Labour Relations in Economic Recession: As Appraisal” jointly organised by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC).

He said, “Today is a day of reflection and a day that we must recognize that no employer of Labour will be so generous to award us what we are demanding for. We have to get it through struggle and this is what we need to reflect on.

“No politician seek office to actually better the lot of the people because they see politics as an investment. So is the issue of businesses around the world which is to make profit and so, we must continue as watchdog of the society continue to represent the interest of our members and the larger people.

“No policy will be made that will serve our interest. That is why our duty has a,ways been policy contestation. Policies must be made to address our developmental challenges and address issues of inequality which has continued to be on the increase despite the fact that in the last one decade, global wealth has continue to increase. We create the wealth of every society, but what has been our bargain.

“Poverty among working class has continued to increase. This year’s May Day calls for us to rededicate ourselves both as members and leaders to our collective struggle and continue to agitate for what is right to our society. There is no way the issue for insecurity will be addressed without addressing the twin issue from poverty and unemployment.”

Wabba also criticised the former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar for opposing the idea of having uniform salary for workers across the country, adding that if political office holders can earn the same salaries irrespective of the resources available in their states, there was no reason why workers should not earn the same salaries across the country.

He said: “in any case, we are not even canvassing for the same salary structure. We are talking of minimum and even in the most capitalist societies, you have minimum which is to protect the vulnerable and it cut across both public and private sector so that we don’t leave it to our respective employers to fix what they want.

“We are saying that we must continue to maintain that minimum whereby no employer should pay below that. Today, even with the law, some employers are still paying below N10000 and that is modern slavery. They will try all means to divide us, but we should not be deterred because a people determined cannot be defeated.”

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