Lagos workers stormed the Adeyemi Bero Hall at Alausa to give massive support to the Labour Movement’s N66,000 minimum wage demand in the last week of April. They sang solidarity songs in response to the NLC/TUC’s submission.
The trade union centres in their presentation also called for upward reviews of the national minimum wage to be “when there is ned for increment” instead of the 5-year term that is presently stipulated, but has not been respected since 2016. They further insisted that the new minimum wage covers all workers in both public and private sector, including workplaces employing at least 5 workers, instead of the “above 50 workers” provision in the subsisting National Minimum Wage Act.
The joint memorandum of the NLC and TUC was read by Comrade Sessy of AUPCTRE. It as well called for increased taxation on rich and luxury goods to fund the minimum wage, as a wealth redistribution mechanism.
Meanwhile, the Association of Senior Civil Servants (ASCSN), represented by Comrade Kazeem; immediate past TUC State Chair, in its memorandum demanded the “removal of all exceptions in the coverage of the minimum wage.” The association also posited against the removal of the minimum wage from the Exclusive List to the Concurrent, as agitated by the state governors. The association believes that this is inhuman and against global practices.
The Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP) demanded that the minimum pension should be at least N40,000, considering the current cost of living. It also called for the immediate payment of the 12 months arrears being owed pensioners across the country.
Also, the United Action for Democracy (UAD), represented by its General Secretary; Kunle Wizeman Ajayi, argued that the N66,000 minimum wage will help to reduce income inequality in the country. UAD as well canvassed that elected public officers like senators, governors and the presidents should be paid salaries at the rates paid the average worker. This will help to reduce corruption. UAD called for criminalisation of the payment of “HALF SALARIES” and also the criminalisation of anti-unionism in work places.
Comrade Osunbunmi of JOHESU called on the Federal Government and the states to pay up the arrears and allowances of health workers, so that the current strike can be resolved on time.
Workers at the Public Hearing warned that their opinions must be respected as they wear the shoe and know where it pinches.
by Kunle Wizeman AJAYI