By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA – THE leadership of Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria, MHWUN, has directed its members across the county to join the ongoing nationwide industrial action by the organised labour over the issue of new minimum wage.
President of the MHWUN, Biobelemoye J. Josiah, who gave the directive yesterday in Abuja while addressing journalists said “This administration has a phobia for taking care of the welfare of its workers, particularly if it has to do with increase in what goes into the pockets of the workers.”
He warned that “Workers would no longer allow themselves be taken for a ride where they vote charlatans into office only to face various draconian policies, such as loss of precious jobs, under various guises and satanic activities against workers by the likes of the Ngiges, Adewoles and the loud mouthed anti-minimum wage politicians”
He expressed great displeasure over the delay on the new minimum wage and said “Government, as a ruling class, is poised to protect the exploitation of the working class through continuous payment of slave wages while they continue to enrich themselves with our sweat.
“We therefore wish to direct our members nationwide to key into this struggle as a matter of policy and should not rest on our oars until we receive directives from the leadership of organised labour.”
Continuing, he said, “Recently, the Prime Minister of Great Britain, on her visit to Nigeria declared Nigeria to be the poorest country in the world. This is because our minimum wage is insignificant. She was speaking the mind of the international community.
“As the organized labour in conjunction with civil society allies commence warning strike to protest the refusal of the Federal Government to order the immediate resumption of the meeting of the Tripartite National Minimum Wage Committee in order for them to conclude their work, we at the Medical and Health Workers’ Union of Nigeria, wish to register our unalloyed support to the Nigeria Labour Congress under the able leadership of Comrade (Dr.) Ayuba Wabba.
“We are told the economy is out of the woods, but inflation has eaten up the pittance known as minimum wage as the take home pay of the Nigerian worker can no longer take him home. Still government is being insensitive to the plight of the Nigerian worker.
“Under this administration, the pump price of petroleum products have been increased, the currency have been devalued with consequential effects on workers and citizenry like unbearable electricity tariffs, punitive exchange rate and hyper inflation all of which have led to a rising cost of living for workers and other Nigerians.
“Sadly too, we are yet to feel the effects of government’s promise to mitigate these hardships even with the setting up of a palliatives committee to fashion out mitigatory strategy, policies and programmes to cushion the vagaries of its policies.
“We wish to associate ourselves with the age long adage that a leopard does not and cannot change its spots. We want to remind our membrs, in particular, and the general public, at large the suffocating and unbearable negative influence of the Minister of Labour, Dr. Chris Ngige, in the recent avoidable Joint Health Sector Unions strike which went unabated to six weeks, leaving poor and vulnerable Nigerians dying en-mass simply because both Chris Ngige and the Minister of Health Prof. Isaac Adewole had acted in concert to jettison a memorandum of settlement signed on 30thSeptember, 2017 to which five weeks was the timeline for its consummation implying that by middle of November, 2017, the matters would have been put to bed”.