Minimum wage: ‘We cannot be cowed’ – NLC

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The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, has declared that it cannot be cowed in its pursuit of better welfare for workers.

This is as the union urged the government to approve a new minimum wage that is commensurate with the cost of living in the country.

NLC President, Comrade Joe Ajaero, in his speech at the 11th Quadrennial Delegates Conference of the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria in Abuja, asked the Federal Government to allow salaries and wages to be commensurate with the cost of living.

This is as the Acting National President of the Medical and Health Workers Union, MHWU, Comrade Kabiru Minjibir, declared that anarchy was looming in the country should nothing be done urgently to address the present hardship.

DAILY POST recalls that the NLC had on Thursday presented N709, 000 for consideration as the new national minimum wage at the public hearing for the North Central.

The Trade Union Congress, TUC, on the other hand presented N447,000 as its proposal for consideration as the new national minimum wage.

The current minimum wage of N30, 000 passed into law by former President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration would expire in April this year.

The NLC President lamented that workers have been reduced to beggars because of the economic hardship in the country.

“Food has become so scarce that Nigerians have become scavengers and resorted to raiding food trucks and warehouses for food.

“If those in government cannot see the danger in what is happening, we see it and must ensure that the government fulfils its duties to the people.

“We are increasingly going hungry in our father’s land and cannot continue in this destitution. The greatest unifyer and mobiliser of a people is hunger, so it is common when those in government assume that somebody is sponsoring people who are protesting because of hunger.

“If anybody is arousing the people, it is those in government whose policies have impoverished the people and stripped them of those values that make them human beings.

“The looting of food trucks and warehouses is what you get when this happens. Unless something is done, this may unfortunately escalate. We pray it does not.

“Those who therefore think that they can stop us from this divine mission with their threats and violence should think twice. We cannot be cowed. We cannot surrender our natural mandate to powers and agents of poverty and emasculation.

“We are not after anybody’s job but we must insist that the instruments of governance must be used for the greater good of the people and not to wreck their lives,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha said the government was committed to providing affordable healthcare for Nigerians.

Onyejeocha, who was represented by the Director, Trade Union Services and Industrial Relations, Yusuf Mohammed also said the government was committed to providing better welfare packages for health workers.

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