The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC has demanded for a review of the present minimum wage paid to workers in accordance with the economic realities.
The Comrade Ayuba Wabba-led faction of NLC yesterday in Abuja after its National Executive Committee, NEC, meeting also said that an increment of workers salary would help to reduce corruption in the polity.
He said that it was unacceptable for Nigerians including the labour force to live in abject poverty while few privileged people continue to steal the nation’s resources and starch it in foreign banks.
Comrade Wabba who assured that the labour movement would lead the protest to ensure that the federal government recovered the looted funds said that NLC would organise a symbolic national one day protest to ensure that such funds in the hands of individuals were recovered.
He explained that the NEC would demand from government and the tripartite partners for the review of the minimum wage.
He also noted that the pitiable state of the nation’s economy has become of great concern to the labour union as it has affected the working class and had led to many states not being able to pay salaries as at when due.
While appreciating the efforts of the Council of States for approving the bailout for states that had been unable to pay salaries to workers, he said that NLC was disturbed that despite the federal government gesture, the effect of the bailout was yet to be seen.
According to him, while in some states relative progress had been made, few states had remained chronic, adding that the Central Working Committee, CWC of the union was of the view that payment of salary should be a matter of national priority and that the NEC would not fold arms watching workers not to be paid as at when due.
For the states that had received the bailouts, Wabba called on the Federal Government to also put in place mechanism to monitor how the funds were utilised and also frowned at the development where some banks withheld the bailout fund as a result of the indebtedness of some the states to the banks.
NLC condemned the waiver granted to some establishments in the country which had denied the country money while workers were subjected to pay taxes, and said that nobody should be allowed to evade taxes in any form.
He urged the judiciary to hasten the trials of those indicted for looting the nation’s treasury and other allegation of treasury and also told the anti-corruption agency to always device a process to promptly responding to allegations of corruption.