Nigeria Labour Congress to Advocate for Minimum Wage and Nigerian Students

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By Abdulwahed Ibrahim Omar

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) is to mobilize its members nationwide against the decision of the Senate to remove Labour and the national minimum wage from the Exclusive List contrary to the practice in most nations of the world.

In a communique issued at the end of an emergency meeting of the National Executive Council (NEC) in Abuja yesterday, the NLC said the decision has the potential to create a pool of the working poor; judicial nightmare; slave labour; an environment for payment of arbitrary wages; destruction of the economy; major industrial unrest; and worsening national security situation.

The congress also blasted the poor conditions of service in Anambra State, expressing dismay that a Permanent Secretary in the civil service earns as low as 150,000 Naira per month. It urged the Anambra state government to immediately work towards the improvement of the conditions of service of its workers, stressing that in the event of failure of the government to act speedily, the NLC would be compelled to act in sympathy with the workers.

The NLC also strongly condemned the inability/refusal of the federal government to reach an amicable resolution of its dispute with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), and called for resumption of negotiations between both parties, saying it had elected to be directly involved in those negotiations.

Full text of the communique:

COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF AN EMERGENCY MEETING OF THE NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COUNCIL (NEC) OF THE NIGERIA LABOUR CONGRESS (NLC) HELD ON THURSDAY 29TH AUGUST, 2013
AT LABOUR HOUSE, ABUJA

The National Executive Council (NEC) of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) after an exhaustive deliberation at their meeting of Thursday, August 29, 2013 at its auditorium, Abuja, notes that:

In spite of the overwhelming support of the Nigerian people, workers and constituents for the retention of Labour and the prescription of a national minimum wage on the Exclusive List and extant ILO Conventions in support of same, and the fact that national minimum wage is prescribed and retained on the Exclusive List in over 90 percent of the nations of the world, the Nigerian Senate against every grain of wisdom, removed Labour and the national minimum wage from the Exclusive List;

Resolved to:

Mobilize its members across the country against the decision of the Senate because of its potential to create:

• A pool of the working poor
• Judicial nightmare
• Slave labour
• An environment for payment of arbitrary wages
• Destruction of the economy
• Major industrial unrest; and
• Worsening national security situation

Congress also notes with grave concern the poor conditions of service in Anambra State.

Congress is particularly dismayed that a Permanent Secretary in the state civil service earns as low as 150,000 Naira per month.

Congress accordingly urges the Anambra state government to immediately work towards the improvement of the conditions of service of workers.

Congress warns that in the event of failure of the government to act speedily, it would be compelled to act in sympathy with the workers in Anambra State.

Similarly, Congress condemns in strong terms the inability/refusal of the government to reach an amicable resolution of its dispute with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

It nonetheless calls for resumption of negotiations between the government and ASUU in the interest of students.

In furtherance of this, Congress elects to be directly involved in the negotiations.

Abdulwahed Ibrahim Omar, President

Chris Uyot, Acting General Secretary

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