By Onyebuchi Ezigbo
Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has asked states yet to implement the new minimum wage or have unilaterally cut wages and owing workers salary arrears to prepare for mass industrial action and protests this New Year.
In its new year message issued last night by NLC president, Ayuba Wabba, the congress said it was unfortunate that till now, some states have refused to pay the new national minimum wage.
It regretted that some states which had signed collective bargaining agreements with state councils of the labour movement on the payment of consequential salary adjustment and pension benefits owing to the new national minimum wage have started reneging on their commitment.
“Accordingly, we call on all our state councils still struggling with their state governments on the payment of the national minimum wage and consequential salary increase and those whose state governments have unilaterally cut wages and are owing workers salary arrears to prepare for mass industrial action and protests this New Year.
“Furthermore, we insist that government must make possible the enabling environment that would foster job creation and full employment in line with the constitutional responsibilities of the state to ensure the welfare and security of citizens,” NLC said.
The congress said unemployment and poverty are perfect recipes for the breakdown of law and order and are also harbingers of widespread anarchy.
In order to withstand further shocks from the resurgence of fresh outbreaks of Covid-19 and or other health and socio-economic dislocations, NLC said it will design a recovery plan that rebuilds the social contract between government and societies and hoisted on the foundations of resilience.
“In order to achieve this, we must ensure that Decent Work is at the centre of government actions to bring back economic growth and build a new national and global economy that puts people and the planet first,” it added.
On insecurity in 2021, the NLC said that it would fully unfold plans for a national advocacy campaign on the issue.
According to the congress, part of the plans is to convene a multi-stakeholders conference on insecurity in Nigeria.