The Nigeria Labour Congress in Ebonyi says removing the National Minimum Wage from the Exclusive Legislative List is tantamount to declaring war on Nigerian workers.
The state chairman of the workers, Mr. Ikechukwu Nwafor, said this on Wednesday in Abakaliki during a press conference organised in line with the directive of the national leadership of NLC.
Nwafor said that the Bill at the National Assembly (NASS), seeking to remove minimum wage from the exclusive to concurrent list, was unacceptable to workers nationwide.
He said that Ebonyi workers were fully in support of the nationwide protest by NLC, adding that NASS should jettison the move.
He described the bill as unhealthy for the well-being of workers.
“The union is saying that the move to remove the minimum wage from exclusive list is devilish and we cannot accept it.
“If you remember, Nigerian workers have enjoyed the minimum wage since 1981, in line with global standard. This took years of high struggles and sacrifices by workers to get the first Minimum Wage Act in 1981.
“Labour took steps to put the minimum wage in the exclusive list since 1979 and 1999 Constitution and this has given a certain level of protection to workers.
“So, the minimum wage flow, which has granted basic income to the lowest level of workers is what some group wants to write off. This is not good,” Nwafor said.
“The minimum wage in the exclusive list guaranteed that all workers, irrespective of their locations in the federation, will enjoy the wage flow.
“This is the practice in over 90 per cent of the countries of the world, where social dialogue is key to minimum wage determination. So, Nigerians cannot at this time accept those that want to use us as laughing stock.
“You must first address the wage flow for you to tackle the ravaging poverty, which the minimum wage in the exclusive list is protecting. We are resisting such move in the country and Ebonyi,” Nwafor said, while urging workers to remain steadfast in the struggle.
He gave assurance that the union would not rest on its efforts in promoting the welfare of its members.