The Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM) has called on the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) not to accept any Minimum Wage less than N52,000, saying that the 11 years of democracy in Nigeria has not been fair to Nigerian Workers.
According to a statement made available to The Tide, DSM said top government officials hinted that the government would refuse to pay the promised living wage unless coerced into doing so by the organised labour.
Comrade Segun Sango, the group’s scribe, in a statement called on labour leaders to ensure that workers are protected while fighting for a befitting living wage.
It also enjoined labour leaders to mobilise workers for a warning strike to send message across to government that workers need a living wage.
“The argument that suggests that resources are not available to pay and as such cannot afford any wage increment for workers have always been used in an attempt to deflate agitations for living wage. The truth of the matter is that resources that would have been used to pay living wage and invest massively to basic infrastructure is being stolen, looted and used to pay unwarranted jumbo allowances to privileged few individuals including political office holders,” the document stated.
It stated further that, “besides, the argument of government on productivity should be held by labour with suspicion, it could mean a basis to retrench workers on account of salary increase. Why has government waited for workers to demand salary increase before raising the question of productivity”?
The document continued, rather this is an attempt to make a worker to pay for the salary increase by doing the jobs of two or more so that the government can shed the workforce.
“We, therefore, call on labour leadership to ensure that no single worker loses his/her job on the account of a new minimum wage; we hold strongly that the mere industrial relation tactics of the NLC and TUC in the struggle for the new minimum wage is not going to achieve the desired result”.
According to the document “the labour leadership should immediately come up with a programe of struggle that will involve mass mobilisation of workers and warning strike to win a living wage.
It, however, called on the government to implement a living wage to Nigerian workers and also invest in masses wellbeing, industries and basic infrastructures in order to boost economic development.
It would be recalled that as part of his nation-wide broadcast to mark this years democracy day, President Goodlunck Ebele Jonathan had promised the commencement of payment of the new living wage from July I this year.