In a quick response to the workers protest and anger displayed against government officials during the May Day rally in Abuja, the Federal Government will be meeting the organised Labour on Tuesday, in Abuja over the issue of National Minimum Wage, palliative and other related issues.
President of Trade Union Congress (TUC), Comrade Bobboi Kaigama, who spoke with journalists in Abuja, on Thursday, stated that the organised Labour had met with the Minister of Labour and Employment after the incident which forced the minister, the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki, the Speaker of House of Representatives, Hon, Yakubu Dogara, and other top government officials, out of the May Day rally, and discussed the issue.
“On the issue of the Minimum Wage, we have discussed with the minister. In fact before the May Day, we are meeting on the 9th of this month. We are going to address the issue of minimum wage and issues of palliatives.
He said: “There, we will be able to get from the government the source of funds to fund the palliative and we will go a step further to constitute the national minimum wage committee, because it is not going to be just the Federal Government and the organised Labour or NECA.
“As I said, there is suppose to be the representatives of state government, representatives of state governors, representatives of the employers association and the organized Labour.
“We expect that on 9th, the Federal Government would have consulted with the state governments, get their own list of representation. We expect that on or before the end of this months the constitution of the Minimum Wage committed would be done.”
He, however, tendered apology of the Labour movement to the embarrassed guests and Nigerians but stated that it was a vindication of what the Labour leaders have been telling the authorities.
To him, it is an expression of anger as a product of hunger, excruciating pain of suffering from high rate of inflation, devaluation of Naira, and unpaid salaries.
According to Kaigama: “First and foremost, I want to tender an unreserved apology to our esteemed guests that attended the May Day rally. To them, it would look like an embarrassment, to us, it is a vindication of what we have been telling the authorities.
“There is a problem, and if we don’t address this problem, it will get to a level, that we as their leaders might not be able to control their anger. What brought about that! Number one, in the history of this country, we have never had a situation where workers day would be celebrated with empty stomach, without salary.
“The President had directed that salaries should be paid before or on the 25th of the month. And here we are, we have appointees of the government who know that workers have their day and that is May 1, what were you supposed to have done when you already have a subsisting approval that on or before 25 of every month, you pay salaries?
Even if you are not addressing the issue of their minimum wage, even if you are not addressing the pension issues, that salary should have been paid before May Day.
“We have learnt a lot of experience, the way forward now is for officials of government to take the act of governance very seriously” the Labour leader said.
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