Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) saturday said it would resist the plan of the federal government to increase income taxes, electricity tariff and prices of petroleum products on the account of new minimum wages.
The congress gave the warning in a statement issued by its President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, urging the federal government not to embark on any policy measures that would erode the expected gains of the new N30, 000 new minimum wage for workers.
Labour asked the federal government not to approve any further tax policy or increase in the prices of petroleum products.
The statement said: “We also call on government to refrain from introducing counterproductive economic policies and decisions that would erode the current wage gain achieved by workers.
“Any further increase in petroleum product prices, electricity tariff and personal income taxes would amount to collecting with left hand what was giving to workers with the right hand. The organised labour will resist such move.”
The statement, also, said that for the gains of the new minimum wage to be sustainable, traders and essential providers should refrain from artificial inflation of prices of goods and services.
It said that judging from past experience, the poor understanding of implementation of the minimum wage adjustments usually resulted in inflation of prices that left the downtrodden masses as victims.
It added that based on the agreement reached with government, all employers of labour in the public sector should ensure that necessary measures for the smooth implementation of the negotiated salaries based on the new national minimum wage was carried out with immediate effect.
“Furthermore, all employers of labour in the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) as well as Organised Private Sector (OPS) are expected to complete the implementation process for the national minimum wage and consequential wage adjustment forthwith.”
NLC directed its state chapter and affiliates to collaborate with the branches of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Joint Public Sector Negotiating Council (JNPSC) to ensure effective implementation of the consequential salary adjustment for workers in the state public sector.