Tuesday, 23 July 2013


Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), on Monday, directed all its affiliate unions and state councils to commence mobilisation across the states of the federation, to protest against the Senate over minimum wage law and local government autonomy.

The congress also condemned the political crisis in Rivers State House of Assembly, saying it was capable of derailing democracy in the country.

NLC president, Comrade Abdulwaheed Omar, speaking at the 11th NLC Rain School, in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, pointed out that directive had been given to all industrial unions and state councils of NLC in the country to mobilise for protest against the Senate’s decision, which removed the national minimum wage from the exclusive legislative list in the ongoing constitution amendment.

According to Omar, decentralisation of minimum wage by the legislators would only lead to labour market segmentation, causing many negotiations and disputes.

“We wish to restate that minimum wage has nothing to do with fiscal federalism as erroneously flaunted by the now fractious Governors’ Forum. This seems to have informed the Senate’s action.

“However, it is important to point out that contrary to this view, the minimum wage is fixed as the benchmark on which all other wages in the country evolve, taking cognisance the rate of inflation and cost of living. Therefore, no employer, either in the private or public sector, is expected to pay below this minimum,” he said.

He urged President Goodluck Jonathan to display uncommon statesmanship by intervening in the political crisis rocking Rivers State.

Omar said the crisis in Rivers State was of important and concerns to Nigerian workers, describing the physical battle on the floor of state assembly as a shame.

“Of importance to the working class has been the rate and extent of impunity in the country. The show of shame in Rivers State, where only five legislators in the state House of Assembly attempted to impeach the speaker and the protracted travails of the state governor, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, are capable of derailing democracy in our country,” he added.

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