May Day: NLC, ULC task FG, state governments on review of minimum wage

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[May Day]–Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and United Labour Congress (ULC) will today task federal and state governments on  review of  minimum wage, good governance, improved security, payment of backlog of salaries, unemployment and corruption, as they join their counterparts worldwide to mark May Day, otherwise known as Workers Day.

This is as the Federal Government, through the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, lauded the resilience of Nigerian workers, hoping for a better future in the face of the current economic challenges facing the country

President of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Ayuba Waba, who enumerated some of Labour’s requests said“we are pushing for the interest of workers, not only workers, but the interest of the Nigerian public, from social and economic angle to security angle, down to issue of strategic institutions, like power. All of these will actually be accommodated in our address.

“All issues pertaining to development will also be addressed because it’s when the economy is doing well that citizens of the country will also do well, and side by side with the issue of good governance. But most importantly, the well-being of the worker will be pushed to the front burner because if workers create wealth then, they need better attention.”

The President of United Labour Congress of Nigeria (ULC) Joe Ajaero, in his own statement lamented that Labour, since last year, had been agitating for a review of wages, citing hyper-inflation and devaluation of the Naira which have continued to impact negatively on workers’ take-home pay.

He insisted that the workers not only deserve wage increase, but also better welfare package in both the public and private sectors, noting that the national economy is wobbling not because Nigeria as a nation was poor, but because of deep-rooted corruption.

He said:  “This is why, as a labour movement, we need to be on the streets to insist that working conditions of the people must be improved.

While praising Nigerian workers for there contributions to the nation’s economic development, Ajaero urged goverment to address poverty, homelessness, among others.

He said, “ULC deeply appreciates and congratulates all workers for their continued perseverance against all odds, to continue creating the wealth which has sustained this nation within the ambit of the current unrelenting pressures of crass neglect and marginalization by the impenitent owners of capital, supported by their collaborators in the corridors of power.

“Once again, we urge government at all levels to address, among others, personal insecurity, unemployment, hunger, deprivations, fear, poverty, homelessness and, much more, overwhelming exclusion and alienation of increasing number of the masses from public social services and infrastructure.

“Despite all these challenges, Nigerian workers have remained stoical and standing,” he added.

Ajaero continued, “ULC doffs its hat to all of you. You deserve our salute. Despite the unbridled looting of our national patrimony, we urge all workers not to give up hope but to join hands across the entire national spectrum to create a strong platform that would challenge the forces of greed and the champions of exploitation.

“We urge our social partners, especially those who have responsibilities across all the diverse spheres of the nation’s governance structure, to come celebrate with us.

“The only gift we demand at this time is effective governance that would reduce the current mass suffering, deprivation and angst pervading the nation, seeking also to reduce the decent work deficits inherent in our workplaces which have made work and working dangerous in Nigeria.

“The future of work must be protected in Nigeria as that remains the only basis for driving the nation out of its present economic recession.”

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