The joint negotiating Council, JNC Abia State branch says, the Nigerian workers have every reason to be angry, hence the strike action by the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC.
The State chairman of JNC, Chris Okoro disclosed this yesterday in Umuahia while monitoring the strike action, stating that world data on salary payment shows that Nigerian worker is the least paid in the world.
The annoying part of it, Okoro said is that the Nigerian politicians are the highest paid in the whole world, stating “so, how do you reconcile that? It is annoying. The people that create the wealth are starved, and the people that sacrificed all their lives are starved”.
He said that the demand of labour “is new minimum wage for the workers of Nigeria and it is a collective bargain that labour and federal government have entered into.
“It is overdue and we are surprised that a tripartite committee has been set to look into the proposal and agree on terms and conditions.
“But half way, the federal government started dragging its leg, hence the strike to call them to order to be serious about it.
“We want the Federal Government to increase new minimum or living wage of Nigerian workers of N65, 500.00 from N18, 000”.
According to him, the strike is not targeted on forthcoming elections in the country, “it is a fallacy. If they feel so, why not them do the needful and see if we will still go on strike. Labour does not go on sentiment. Every government in power is our friend, so we cannot fight them.
”the issue is that they are dragging their legs. Look at the minister’s comment and this is one of the things labour will look at and say, no. The time frame of the tripartite committee has since passed and nothing has been achieved.
“Hence labour said no, this thing is overdue, let us be serious about it and end it up. These are the facts and they have stopped calling meetings and you cannot meet when the meeting is not convened”.
He ruled out compromise by labour leaders, stating that “labour does not take bribe”, stating “how can you eat it when other workers are crying?”
Okoro therefore stated that the country needs to define properly the position of politics as a profession or as part time job, but needs to evaluate the contributions of politicians and know what they have given the nation anything meaningful.
He noted that politics in Nigeria is wrongly practiced, and called on the Federal Government to quickly accelerate actions in concluding the minimum wage issue and update the Nigerian worker properly.