Nigeria: Labour Threatens Global Intervention in National Minimum Wage Struggle

Minimum wage crisis.
21 November 2018

Abuja — As the controversy over the proposed N30,000 national wage lingers, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has threatened to involve global union and deploy lawful means in pressuring government to pay the sum agreed by the Amal Pepple-led National Minimum Wage Tripartite Committee.

Organised labour noted that what it expects was the transmission of the panel's report to the National Assembly for legislative work and eventual implementation.

The Deputy President of NLC and Vice President of the Public Service International (PSI), Comrade Peters Aderemi, who dropped the hint yesterday in Abuja at a workshop on building trade union capacity to defend the rights of internally displaced persons (IDPs), submitted that the fight against corruption could only be meaningful when workers are well paid.

He said: "There will be more money for people to steal. Government should mop up all the money and to pay workers so that they can stimulate the economy. Right now, they are still watching the trend of events since the report has just been submitted.

"We are hoping that government will respond positively to the ongoing struggle of organised labour, but if at the end of the day PSI has to be involved, then we have to bring the international dimension into it. We will get the global union to intervene using all legitimate means available to put pressure on government to do the needful."

According to him, PSI has 10 affiliates in the Nigerian public service affected by the national minimum wage struggle.

On the claims by the states that they do not have enough resources to pay the N30,000 wage, Aderemi stated: "We are not frightened by their decision. The governors have never been willing to pay anything except to themselves. They never want to pay any money to Nigerian workers but they always fly chartered jets and indulge in a lot of extravagance.

"We insist they have the resources and a hidden agenda which is not worker-friendly. Is it not amazing that a governor that is not paying N18,000 will be speaking for others that are paying N25,000 that they can't afford the new wage?"

He clarified that the PSI is a global trade union that takes care of public service workers across the globe, adding that the institute recently conducted a research on the IDPs in the North East to ascertain the level of impact and how to mitigate it.

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