By Dennis Agbo
The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, has stated that what the Nigeria workers deserved were living wages and not the much-publicised minimum wage.
The organised labour union regretted that while the Nigeria workers stoop to beg for minimum wage, workers in other clines have moved on to enjoy living wages.
The union, therefore, noted that what was needed in Nigeria’s workplaces was strategic leadership if the workers must deal with the rapidly metamorphosising challenges of poor working conditions, slave wages and attempts to snuff unionism in workplaces.
NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba made the remarks at the commencement of 2019 NLC National leadership retreat in Enugu on Tuesday.
Wabba stated that the essence of the retreat was to prepare the Nigeria workers for challenges of the future, particularly with the challenges faced by the exacerbated technology advancement.
He stated that while workers seek answers to the questions that the future brings, they should also be anxious to dispose of all or most of the concerns that exist in the contemporary world of work.
Wabba lamented that “In this era, our workers still face the indignity of indecent work. In this age and time, Nigeria workers are forced to beg for their salaries which are now owed in arrears.
“While other countries have fully accommodated and automated the process of minimum wage adjustments and are now focused on living wages, we are faced with a situation where we are forced to bargain too hard and wait for too long for meager increase in minimum wage and adjustments in salary.”
Guest of the function, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu state said that NLC has been uncompromising in advocacy and protection of workers and their wellbeing.
Ugwuanyi paid tribute to labour leaders that sacrificed for the country, noting that Enugu had always given its best for the workers of the state.
Chairman of NLC in Enugu state, Comrade Virginus Nwobodo commended the national leadership of the union for the retreat after the last general election of the congress, to ensure that leaders both at the state and national level were on the same page regarding the policy trust of the present NLC administration.
Labour leaders attending the retreat include the first NLC President, Comrade Hassan Sumonu; former NLC President, Ibrahim Umar; NLC Secretary-General, Emmanuel Ogbuaja; ILO representative, Dennis Zulu, Comrade Mercy Okezie, among others.