In anticipation of the upcoming negotiations between the Federal Government and organized labor on the new Minimum Wage, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) is holding a meeting in Abuja to strategize and determine a living wage aligned with the current cost of living.
The NLC, despite recent assaults on workers and leaders in Imo State, expressed its commitment to upholding freedom of association and collective bargaining, as outlined in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the ILO Conventions 87 and 98 on Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining.
NLC President, Mr. Joe Ajaero, conveyed these sentiments during the opening session of the NLC 2023 Harmattan School, themed “Building Workers’ Skills for Policy Engagement,” in Abuja.
“The recent assault on workers and their leaders in Imo State poses a grave threat to freedom of association and collective bargaining as enshrined in Section 40 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended and the ILO Conventions 87 and 98 on Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining, and should unequivocally be condemned by all people of goodwill.
“The only thing that can assuage our pains is for the Imo State Government to address all labour issues and return the so called ‘ghost workers’ to their jobs, pay all outstanding salaries and pensions and call back all victimized workers to their jobs.
“It has become very necessary for governments at all levels to recognize that life and living conditions are exceedingly difficult, especially for working people in both the formal and informal sectors of the economy.”
“The removal of subsidy on petroleum products has further exacerbated the challenges faced by working people, unleashing severe pain and contributing to galloping inflation and increasing inequality and poverty.
“We must reckon that a well-motivated and well-remunerated workforce has a positive impact on productivity and national development,” he added.
Ajaero emphasized the unwavering resolve of the NLC in the face of challenges, encouraging participants to actively engage in the training program to enhance their knowledge and skills.
He extended gratitude to various attendees, including the representative of the Minister of Labour and Employment, the Country Director of the ILO, the Director General of the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), and other dignitaries for their presence at the event.