By Victor Young
ORGANISED Labour, Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, and United Labour Congress of Nigeria, ULC, yesterday directed its officials in the states to make the immediate payment of the new national minimum wage of N30, 000 and review of monthly pension by state governments a top priority.
This came as leaders of NLC, TUC, and, ULC, resolved to hold a joint May Day rally nationwide, first of its kind since the crisis that followed the 2015 NLC delegates’ conference.
The crisis led to the emergence of ULC two years after Joe Ajaero who contested the NLC presidency with Ayuba Wabba, alongside some of the affiliates who supported him during the conference, broke away to form a faction of NLC.
The faction later with other senior staff associations that share the same aspirations formed ULC two years ago.
Recall that the three Labour centres have been cooperating and working together in recent times as witnessed during the struggle for the N30, 000 new minimum wage recently signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.
On the directive to state councils on the new minimum wage, President of NLC, Wabba, in a speech to the state councils of NLC said among others, “we have demonstrated tenacity in the pursuit of a new national minimum wage for workers. We have held several rallies, protest marches at both federal and state levels and even embarked on a few strike actions to press home our demand for a new national minimum wage. A few weeks ago, the two chambers of the National Assembly passed the National Minimum Wage (2019) Amendment Bill. The bill was assented by President Muhammadu Buhari on April 18, 2019. There cannot be a more perfect May Day gift for Nigerian workers.
“Well, the upward review of the national minimum wage is not so much a gift as it is the right of workers. This right was delayed for too long. As Mr. President ordered during the signing into law of the National Minimum Wage (2019) Amendment Bill, we call on all employers of labour to commence payment immediately. I urge the incoming leadership of our state councils to make the immediate payment of the new national minimum wage of N30, 000 and review of monthly pension by state governments your top priority.”
On joint May Day, Vanguard gathered that Wabba, Ajaero and President of TUC, Bobboi Kaigama, met and agreed on the joint May Day Rally by workers nationwide including a national one in Abuja.
At the meeting, it was resolved that Chairmen and Secretaries of NLC, TUC and ULC May Day committees should meet an fashion out the details of the programme.
Vanguard gathered that though every detail had been agreed upon on the joint May Day, the planning committee would still meet Saturday in Abuja to implement some of the decisions reached.
According to a source, ahead of the May Day celebration, a national rally with motorcade would hold on Monday, April 29, in Abuja around major roads in Abuja.
President of NLC confirmed the joint May Day celebration in his speech to states delegates’ conference that took place nationwide yesterday when he said: “The 2019 May Day should be celebrated in unity by the Organized Labour family using one platform in each state.”