NLC confident in Akeredolu as labour stages nationwide protest
As workers jockeyed for a new minimum wage of N30,000 across the country, the labour force in Ondo State yesterday expressed confidence in the ability of the state government to pay the anticipated wage.
The vote of confidence was passed by the National President of the NLC, Comrade Ayuba Wabba at a rally organized by the NLC to drum support for the minimum wage.
Wabba who spoke through the congress National Auditor, Dr Yemisi Bamgbose said the labour friendly disposition of the Akeredolu led administration showed that it would solidarise with labour.
He lauded the Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, for his commitment to the N30,000 minimum wage and urged him to prevail on his recalcitrant colleagues to shift position.
He emphasised that workers were even convinced that the N30,000 was small as it was not up to 60 dollars at the exchange rate, arguing that workers have been sympathetic enough to the federal government.
“I remembered when they increased the fuel pump price from N97 to N145, this government promised to give palliative measures but up to this moment there is no palliative measure and labour did not foment any trouble.
“For two years now we have been on this. We proposed N65, 000 new National Minimum Wage but later came down from N65,000 to N30,000 during negotiations to enable government pay, and I think it is magnanimous enough for any government to embrace.
“Today, we are here because we don’t believe in fomenting trouble. Labour doesn’t believe in bringing Nigeria down and that is why we staged the peaceful protest to sensitise all the governors for them to know that workers have been cooperating enough and we also need their cooperation. This issue of N30,000 minimum wage is not about today.
“Workers are the landlord. Governors will come and go but workers remain. We are appealing because we don’t want to call workers to vote against this government in the forthcoming general elections,” added.
A letter of appeal written by organised labour was also presented to the government.
Addressing the organised labour, the governor, represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Ifedayo Abegunde, appreciated the organised labour for conducting themselves in a peaceful manner and promised that the state would do the best for the workers when the National minimum wage is approved by the Federal Government.
The governor reassured the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) of its administration’s unwavering commitment to improved welfare of workers in the state, noting that government would not relent in its efforts to better their lots.
According to him, government would do the needful and make workers happy, even though the present minimum wage was a national issue.
He explained that the workers have always appreciated the present administration for regular payment of salary including arrears inherited from immediate past government.
In separate interviews with The Hope, the Chairman, Ondo State council of the NLC, comrade Tayo Ogunleye, and his TUC counterpart, comrade Ekundayo Soladoye, expressed worry over what they called undue delay by the federal government to transmit the recommendations of the Tripartite Committee on a new National Minimum Wage to the National Assembly for approval.
According to the duo, the peaceful mass protest was to sensitise the public including Nigerian workers on the possible nationwide strike, adding that government is insensitive to the plight of workers in the country.
They threatened that the organised labour would not hesitate to mobilise against any anti-workers’ government in the forthcoming general elections.