President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba, has said the nation’s workers deserve to earn a decent minimum wage for their contributions to wealth creation.
Wabba noted that there cannot be decent work without decent wages. He stressed that the national minimum wage is the floor for decent wages.
The NLC president spoke yesterday in Abuja during a rally to mark the 2019 Decent Work Day with the theme: Invest in the Care Economy.
Wabba, who was represented by the Second Internal Auditor of NLC, Benjamin Anthony, urged all tiers of government to begin full implementation of the N30,000 national minimum wage.
The NLC president said the negotiations for the consequential salary adjustment must be concluded so that all workers would have a reason to smile at the end of the month.
He said: “There cannot be decent work without decent wages. The national minimum wage is the floor for decent wages. We call on all tiers of government in Nigeria to commence full implementation of the N30,000 national minimum wage.
“Also, negotiations for the consequential salary adjustment must be concluded now so that all workers would have a reason to smile at the end of this October.”
Wabba noted that the society continued to face huge decent work deficits and widespread poverty. The NLC president demanded that workers be treated with dignity in factories, offices, schools, hospitals and other work spaces.
“We re-echo our position that decent work must be at the centre of government actions to bring back economic growth and build a new global economy that puts people first. Putting people first means reversal of the ugly trend of wage poverty and extreme inequality.
“We, therefore, join the rest of the global trade union movement to call on government to increase investment in care to generate economic growth, tackle growing demographic challenges and help overcome gender discrimination by mainstreaming women in the economy.
“We demand that workers be treated with dignity in our factories, offices, schools, hospitals and other work spaces. Workers are not expendable commodities. We create the wealth. We demand regularised appointments, decent work hours, paid leave, guaranteed remuneration at work and regular pension on retirement.”
“We are determined to enforce the regularisation of casual, contract and outsourced workers in line with our labour laws. It is high time we brought to an end all forms of abuses, unfair, punitive and unjust practices that our fellow workers are subjected to,” he said.
The NLC president also called for tax reforms that would bring more productive people into the tax net.
“We, therefore, call for tax reforms in a manner that brings more productive people into the tax net, progressive enough to ensure that the rich pay taxes commensurate to their income and responsive enough to ensure that taxes are applied to reduce social inequality,” Wabba added.