The Organised Labour says that it will resist move to renegotiate the N66, 500 minimum wage at any level in the country.
Ayuba Wabba, President, Nigeria Labour Congress, said this during the 2018 May Day celebration for workers in the country on Tuesday in Abuja.
The theme for the May Day Celebration: “Labour Movement in National Development: Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win”.
Wabba said that the process of upward review of the National Minimum Wage to meet the current economic realities was ongoing in the country.
According to him, we shall resist any move to renegotiate the minimum wage at any level.
He said: “We are battle ready against public and private organisations that would refuse to conform to the new minimum wage.
“As the benefits of a new minimum wage cannot be over emphasized, an increase in the minimum wage will pull many workers out of poverty.
“A new minimum wage will put the country in positive light globally as it would ensure compliance with the International Labour Organisation standards.
“Overall, an increase in the minimum wage will raise the levels of productivity and enhance the purchasing power of Nigerian workers.
“Our current demand of N66, 500 as the national minimum wage will only manage to meet the basic needs of the average Nigerian worker if inflation is kept at a single digit.”
The NLC president noted that the recent nationwide minimum wage public hearings have unmasked the enemies of Nigerian workers.
He added that the organised Labour have also insisted that once the Minimum Wage Act is signed into law, all employers in public and private sectors must pay at once.
Wabba said: “We shall stand with those willing to pay more than the minimum. We shall resist any move to renegotiate the minimum wage at any level.
“The Federal Government must ensure that federal allocations are not released to states and local governments that refuse to implement the new minimum wage.
“We are battle ready against public and private organisations that would refuse to conform to the new minimum wage.
“We shall ensure that governments that refuse to pay the new minimum wage will not receive the support of the working class, pensioners and their families.”
Also speaking, Senator Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment, commended the Nigerian workers for their resilience towards the nation’s development.
Ngige said: “I want to use this occasion to encourage workers to always imbibe the culture of communication.
“You should uphold the principle of the use of strike as a last resort in the pursuit of socio-economic goals and aspirations.
“Let us endeavour to conserve our man days’ productively.
“I promise you our doors are open to engage your leadership towards a consensual end in all relevant matter of interest to you all.”
Ngige also called on workers to join government in its fight against corruption and ancillary matters.
He, however, commended the labour movement while urging them to always engage the government through social dialogue.
Also speaking, Bobboi Kaigama, President, Trade Union Congress, said that the challenges facing the country are many, but not insurmountable.
Kaigama said: “It is our hope that given the high expectation of the Nigerian workers, the tripartite committee will complete its work by August 2018 as planned.
“So, that the last quarter of this year, the hard–pressed Nigerian workers will have a new lease of life.
“As institutional members of the committee, our mandate for you is clear. It is what we are pursuing.”