LABOUR, under the United Labour Congress (ULC), has demanded for N96,000 national minimum wage and declared that it would engage the government at all levels to ensure its implementation in the New year.
In its New Year message, the ULC said it would work assiduously with the Federal Government for an upward review of the national minimum wage to N96,000 per month.
The message, titled: “2017 goodwill message: We shall make a difference,” and signed by its President, Comrade Joe Ajaero, the congress said the upward review of the minimum wage was long overdue.
“The ULC shall work assiduously with the Federal Government for an upward review of the national minimum wage to N96,000 per month, which has been long overdue. We shall seek greater coverage of the minimum wage to include all Nigerian workers whether working in the formal or informal sectors,” he said.
Ajaero added: “In this light, we shall work towards designing a wage floor that would be automatically self-adjusting just like it is done in other advanced nations of the world bearing in mind that in the US, just yesterday, the minimum wage automatically went upwards from $8 per hour to $11 per hour. This is a national increase of about 37.5 per cent in a nation with declining inflation and low cost of living.”
The ULC said it would also work through the various platforms it belong, especially the 16-man Federal Government Technical Committee to ensure that the government revisit the high cost of fuel.
Ajaero stated that the newly launched congress would engage government at various levels to generate policies that would cushion the effect of preset suffering and hardship on Nigerians, and especially the workers.
The ULC president said: “The ULC assures Nigerians and workers that our commitment this year is towards ensuring that we work creatively with governments at all levels towards effective governance, thus, building a Nigeria that would rekindle the hope of the citizens and guarantee the benefits of nationhood to all Nigerians.
“To this end, we are determined to engage the government at various levels to generate appropriate policies and programmes that would cushion the present suffering and hardship that have become our collective lot in the past few years.
“We shall intensify our effort through the various platforms we are currently involved in especially the 16-man Federal Government Technical Committee to revisit the high cost of petroleum products in Nigeria and to ensure that the general malaise bedevilling the energy sector is constructively engaged.”
He, therefore, called on the Federal Government to make the committee more effective and empower it to conclude its work quickly.
Ajaero said: “The Assembly (ULC) is focused on working with the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Labour to put in place various regulations and working with the NASS to make appropriate laws that would address the diverse lawlessness of both foreign and local employers in our workplaces.
“Unilateral sacks and illegal retrenchments will be tackled head on while the use of casual and contract work will be seriously tackled to create a Nigerian workplace that is compliant with the Decent work Agenda.
“Once again, we therefore give notice to the banks and the finance industry generally including the telecommunication companies and other employers that have taken delight in abusing and violating the rights and privileges of workers in Nigeria through their flagrant disregard of our labour and trade union laws.
“We shall pursue in conjunction with the relevant agencies of government the compliance of our workplaces with the laws of Nigeria and the relevant international standards.”