A former president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Senator Adams Oshiomhole, has urged organised labour to ensure that all workers in the country were paid N35, 000 wage awards to cushion the effect of the petrol subsidy removal before Christmas.
The lawmaker made the call while speaking at the 8th Quadrennial Delegates Conference of the Non-Academics Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) in Abuja.
He stressed that the money must be paid to workers whether public or private, failing which the employers both public and private sectors must not be allowed to enjoy a peaceful Christmas celebration.
He said, “NLC threatened strike or something like that because that was not exactly the way we used to do it. Now N35, 000 was approved but I don’t know what NLC demanded because it was not exposed to the Nigerian people. The tradition is the National Working Committee and National Executive Council would meet, debate and say based on this increase, this is the minimum without which we would not accept.
“So, with that decision, it is not the decision of the president. It must be the decision of an organ of NLC which NASU is a prominent member of. When we formed LASCO, the Labour Civil Society Coalition, we did it for a purpose. Don’t lament the situation.
“Now that you have N35, 000, there are workers from different states, are all the state governments implementing it? The answer is no. Why should it be no and why are they at peace? Your members are not at peace in the states. It should not be a selective application. The N35, 000 must affect all workers. It has to go round all workers in Nigeria whether public or private, that is the logic of nationwide strike.
“The truth is that demand must affect every worker whether private
or public. That is the logic of the demand. Once you have an agreement, it has to be obeyed at all levels.
“Please tell the NLC president that those are the issues that they must solve, so that this December, nobody goes home without that N35, 000. Whether such a worker is working for the federal, state, local government or the private sector, that N35, 000 must be paid. If you don’t pay, there would be no Christmas for you as an employer whether it’s public or private sector.”