The Organised Labour has said that it will resist move to renegotiate the N66, 500 minimum wage at any level in the country.
The President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Mr Ayuba Wabba, said this during the 2018 May Day celebration for workers in the country on Tuesday in Abuja.
The theme for the May Day Celebration was “Labour Movement in National Development: Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win.’’
According to him“From the first Minimum Wage of N125 which was equivalent to $200 in 1981 to the current Minimum Wage of N18, 000, Nigerian workers have always been forced to bargain so hard, wait for too long and at the end made to endure very little returns that tend to mock their input to national development.”
He said the process of upward review of the National Minimum Wage to meet the current economic realities was ongoing in the country.
“We shall resist any move to renegotiate the minimum wage at any level. We are battle ready against public and private organisations that would refuse to conform to the new minimum wage.
“As the benefits of a new minimum wage cannot be over emphasized, an increase in the minimum wage will pull many workers out of poverty.
“A new minimum wage will put the country in positive light globally as it would ensure compliance with the International Labour Organisation standards.
“Our current demand of N66, 500 as the national minimum wage will only manage to meet the basic needs of the average Nigerian worker if inflation is kept at a single digit,” he said.
The NLC president noted that the recent nationwide minimum wage public hearings have unmasked the enemies of Nigerian workers.
The President, Trade Union Congress (TUC), Mr Bobboi Kaigama, made similar call for workers in the country.
He said the diversion of the bailout funds have been a growing concern to the organised labour.
“As we speak, many states still owe their workers between five and ten months’ salaries and pensions arrears.
“We demand immediate probe for state governments that are known to have diverted the funds, while culprits should be made to face the full weight of the law.
“What the erring states have done is a form of terrorism against the Nigerian workers. We have identified the states that owe salaries and pensions arrears and serious mobilisation is ongoing to vote out such governors in the next general election in their states,” he said.
The TUC President, while speaking on the challenges of the economy, expressed concern on the dearth of infrastructure; insecurity, weak naira and less investment on human capital development, among others.
He, however, decried the delay in the passage of the 2018 National budget.