By JOHNBOSCO AGBAKWURU
LEADERS of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC and the Trade Union Congress, TUC, have threatened to mobilize members against the Senate over bi to remove labour from the exclusive list and deregulate the national minimum wage.
The Senate in voting on amendments of the constitution had overwhelmingly voted for the removal of minimum wage from the exclusive list as it is currently in the constitution which has now drawn the ire of the labour.
President of NLC, Comrade Abdulwahed Omar, and the newly elected President of the TUC, Comrade Bobboi Kaigama at a briefing in Abuja, criticized the proposed decentralization of minimum wage by the senate, describing the action as “self-serving and anti-people.”
According to NLC and TUC “Our Senate has become self-serving and anti-people. Never in the history of this country, not even in the military era, have we witnessed such charade and travesty on the popular wish of the people as was displayed at the Senate.
“You will recall that the outcome of a nationwide constituency consultation carried out by the House of Representatives before debates commenced on the amendments, the Nigerian people had overwhelmingly said capital NO! to the removal of the National Minimum Wage from the Exclusive to Concurrent List in the Constitution.”
“It is rather scandalous for the Senate who are representatives of the people to beat their chest and declare that their act which goes against the grain of the people’s interest is ‘making history’ and ‘maturing democracy. At this juncture, it is pertinent to further expose the lack of understanding of our Senators on the concept of national minimum wage.”
“Without recourse to history and basic appreciation of global practices, the distinguished members of the upper chambers assumed that a minimum wage is a review normally carried out by the Federal and State governments., oblivious of the historical and global concept of minimum wage being a benchmark to ensure that vulnerable workers, particularly the unorganized and the unskilled are not unduly exploited by ravenous, selfish and greedy employers and money bags.”