NLC Withdraws Strike Notice Served On 6 Banks

NLC, BanksThe Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has withdrawn the strike notice it served on six commercial banks on June 15 over the mass sacking of workers and redundancy in the banking sector.

The President of the NLC, Mr Ayuba Wabba, made this known on Wednesday during a media briefing in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city.

He said that it was agreed that all hostilities including the strike notice should be put on hold to await the outcome of a meeting proposed by the Ministry of Labour and Employment.

Mr Wabba explained that the leadership of the NLC had been briefed by its affiliate union, the National Union of Banks, Insurance, and Financial Institutions Employees, on the extent of its engagement with the affected banks on the contentious issues.

He insisted that the banks must follow the labour law when it comes to disengaging the workers.

Tinubu Asks Labour To Suspend Strike

tinubuThe national leader of the ruling party in Nigeria, the All Progressives Congress (APC), is asking Nigerian workers protesting against the recent increase in the price of petrol to suspend the strike in the overall interest of the nation.

Senator Bola Tinubu made the appeal in Abuja on Friday at‎ a meeting with officials of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).

He told the union that the increasing impoverishment of Nigerians necessitated the increase in the pump price of petrol.

Dialogue With Two Groups

The APC leader further appealed to the officials of the NLC, leading the protest, to return to the negotiating table with the government in order to resolve the issue.

The call for the suspension of the strike was also supported by the Governor of Osun State, Rauf Aregbesola and the Senator representing Kaduna North in the National Assembly, Suleiman Hunkuyi.

Without making any commitment, the President of the NLC, Ayuba Wabba,  criticised the approach of the government to the situation, saying the “government is insincere in its dialogue with two groups over the pump price increase of petrol”.

It is three days now that the leadership of the NLC pulled workers into the streets to protest against the recent increase in the price of petrol.

The Federal Government had on May 11 increased the price of Premium Motor Spirit, also referred to as petrol, from 86 Naira, 50 kobo to 145 Naira.

After the increase was announced by the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, the labour union said it would resist the increase, describing it as ‘insensitive’.

The government said its decision to increase petrol price would end the worst petrol scarcity that the oil-rich nation had experienced in over a decade.

Dr. Kachikwu said the increase would further lighten the difficulty in getting foreign exchange needed for importation of petrol at a period the nation’s refineries were producing below capacity.

Despite these reasons, the NLC insisted that the government should revert to the old price.

After two days of negotiations, the NLC embarked on strike, but the division in the union’s leadership has made light the impact of the strike.

Full Text: May Day Speech By President Muhammadu Buhari

SPEECH BY HIS EXCELLENCY, PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI PRESIDENT AND COMMANDER – IN – CHIEF, FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, ON THE OCCASION OF THE 2016 NATIONAL MAY DAY CELEBRATION HELD AT THE EAGLE SQUARE, ABUJA ON SUNDAY, MAY 1, 2016

Great Nigerian Workers!

Great Nigerian Workers!

I bring you greetings.

It is with great pleasure that I honour the invitation by the two Federations of Trade Unions, the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to attend the 2016 National May Day celebrations. As you all know, this is my first outing in this forum which has a long and historical tradition that are noble and progressive. The efforts of all the heroes past who had fought for the workers of all nations to have a ‘voice’ in determining the course and direction of both national and international issues affecting the state of their being, are commemorated today, the first day of May all over the world. Labour remains unarguably an important element in any policy, programme and project propagated for national development.

This year’s celebration is significant in a number of ways. First, it marks the first May Day celebration under the All Progressive Congress (APC) Administration which brought an end to the sixteen (16) years of national squander, bad governance, unbridled corruption and economic woes by the previous administration. Second, it is coming at a time when the whole world is experiencing some form of economic crisis or the other.

For us whose main foreign exchange comes from oil, the global decline in the price of oil has further exacerbated our economic crisis. The resultant effects of this are noticeable in government dwindling resources, reduction in operational capacities of most companies especially in the Oil and Gas Sector, threats of workforce reduction by multinationals and the escalations of volatility amongst others. These developments no doubts, have socio-economic implications for the economy as well as the working class. I therefore appreciate the theme you have chosen for this year’s National May Day celebration – The Working Class and the Quest for Socio – Economic Revival. A quest it is, and the realization of the revival is not farfetched. It only requires reasonable time to remedy the maladministration and put forth a change so desired by all of us.

I make no excuses as this Government of the APC is determined to tackle headlong all socio – economic ills that have troubled our nation and we shall evolve solutions to emerging threats to our well being and the realization of sustainable development as well as growth anchored on equity and social justice.

Development must be sustainable for it to benefit society in general. It is therefore the responsibility of those in the citadels of power to align themselves with the working class who make development possible by generating and sustaining the momentum of positive change. That is why the present Administration has sought and will continue to seek the hands of Labour so that together we can attain the enviable heights of progress in our beloved country.

It is for this very reason that I aspired to become President which the Nigerian people have now made a reality. This Administration shall effect positive Change in the lives of average Nigerians, to ensure that the downtrodden are elevated and most importantly to fight the intense pain of corruption which has enriched the very few to the detriment of the majority of Nigerians who groan under the overwhelming weight of poverty and all the superstructural and infrastructural maladies resulting from corruption.

In this fight against corruption, I need you all to be very willing partners. Fighting corruption in the Public Service in particular, requires the workers to play major roles by cooperating with the Government.

I have listened to the speeches made by both the Presidents of the TUC and NLC. By the speeches, you have without any equivocation affirmed  your faith in the greatness of Nigeria as a nation. The challenges facing Nigeria have been highlighted and I assure you that they shall be accorded due consideration. It is worthy to note that solution to some of those issues and requests are already being considered and would be made public in the near future. The times may be tough, but we Nigerians are by nature resilient and strong and it is that nature that propels us to overcome adversities and still thrive as a nation.

Let us use this National May Day to celebrate the workers and Nigeria as a Nation. There will always be challenges in the life of a man and what defines greatness is the way and manner such challenges are tackled and overcome. I assure you, great Nigerian workers that this Administration is able and willing to constructively handle the challenges.

In so doing, I request your cooperation and understanding, as partners in progress. The need to ensure a conducive atmosphere devoid of incessant industrial actions becomes paramount to ensure no loss of man – days and accordingly promote high productivity which is perquisite for sustainable development based on increased investments, creation of jobs as well as protection of jobs. I further assure you that working together, this Administration protect workers rights and shall promote incentives for great productivity and hence greater prosperity.

Thank you and I wish you all happy May Day celebrations.

God Bless.

 

Unpaid Salaries: Labour To Partner Agencies To Probe Governors

Labour-SalariesOrganised labour unions have threatened to initiate the probe of state governors owing workers salaries despite collecting bailout funds from the Federal Government.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) made the threat to partner with anti-graft agencies to investigate the governors at a conference in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

They accused the ruling class of amassing wealth at the expense of the Nigerian worker.

The labour union has insisted on pushing for a new minimum wage of 56,000 Naira, even though some states are unable to pay the current national minimum wage of 18,000 Naira.

The demand was made public a week before the celebration of the International Workers’ Day which is also known as Labour Day in some places. It is commonly referred to as May Day in Nigeria.

May Day is an annual celebration of labourers and the working classes. It is promoted by the international labour movement, socialists, communists and anarchists.

Nigerians Celebrate Workers’ Day

Workers' DayNigerian workers are joining their counterparts from all over the world to celebrate the International Workers’ Day, also known as Labour Day in some places, but commonly referred to as May Day in Nigeria.

The celebration is holding amidst request by labour unions in Nigeria for an increase in the wages of workers.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) had on April 27 proposed 56,000 Naira (about $281) as a new minimum wage to the Nigerian Government.

The unions made the proposal at a press conference held in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

The President of the NLC, Mr Ayuba Wabba, told reporters that the unions made the formal demand on the proposed national minimum wage to the Federal Government on Tuesday.

The current national minimum wage is 18, 000 Naira.

“I can say now authoritatively that as of yesterday (Tuesday) we made a formal proposal to the Federal Government of 56,000 Naira to be the new minimum wage.

“The demand has been submitted officially to the government and we hope that the tripartite system to look at the review will actually be put set up to look at it.

“Our argument is that, yes, it is true that the economy is not doing well, but the law stated that wages for workers must be reviewed after every five years.

“So, the issue must be looked into by the Federal Government and workers should not be seen as sleeping on their rights,” he said.

May Day is a celebration of labourers and the working classes that is promoted by the international labour movement, socialists, communists and anarchists and occurs every year on.

The date was chosen for International Workers’ Day by the second international, a pan-national organisation of socialist and communist political parties, to commemorate the Hay Market Affair, which occurred in Chicago May 4, 1886.

The 1904 International Socialist Conference in Amsterdam, the sixth conference of the second international, called on “all social democratic party organisations and trade unions of all countries to demonstrate energetically on May 1 for the legal establishment of the 8-hour day, for the class demands of the proletariat, and for universal peace.

Improved Workers’ Welfare Critical To Change Agenda – Dogara

Workers-Yakubu DogaraThe Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Yakubu Dogara, has assured Nigerian workers of the commitment of the House to workers’ welfare.

In a statement issued by his spokesman, Mr Turaki Hassan, Dogara, said that improvement in the condition of workers was critical to the change agenda of the present administration.

“The International Workers’ Day was borne out of the struggle for improved workers’ rights and better working conditions,” he said.

The Speaker drew attention to the ongoing review of obsolete and outdated laws by the House, many of which he said “Would, when amended, make life easier for people who engage in productive activities across the country.

“Workers are the lifeblood of every nation and a well-trained and motivated workforce is vital to our goal of a vibrant, strong, productive and efficient economy.

“A modern, knowledgeable and effective workforce is at the heart of the legislative agenda of the 8th House of Representatives”.

“Today, we honour those silent heroes who brave through tough conditions to deliver their best; from our teachers to our doctors to our civil servants, to our farmers, to our self-employed youths and women, who eke out a living, despite the harsh economic conditions of today.

“For their sake, we shall do all in our power and employ the necessary legislative tools to make a difference in their lives,” he added.

Speaker Dogara also spoke about unemployment, saying that: “Unemployment remains one of greatest threats to both our security and progress. It is said that an idle mind is the devils workshop.

“We hope that the 2016 Budget will be faithfully implemented to kick start the process of national renewal.

“We will ensure that quality job creation is at the centre of any government contracts and international agreements.

“We must invest in the training and retraining of our workers to be the best and to have the necessary tools to compete anywhere in the world.”

The Speaker congratulated the Nigerian Labour Congress, other labour unions and labour leaders for the sacrifices, maturity, partnership and understanding they have exhibited in the conduct of labour relations in Nigeria and wished them happy Labour Day celebrations.

Oshiomhole Congratulates New NLC President

NLC-OshiomoleFormer President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has congratulated Comrade Ayuba Wabba, on his victory as the new President of the NLC in the just concluded 11th National Delegates Conference of the Congress.

The former NLC President said in a congratulatory letter addressed to the new NLC President that the Nigerian Labour Movement had lost a significant amount of prestige and influence in the sight of the Nigerian working people and the Nigerian public at large.

However, Comrade Oshiomhole urged Comrade Ayuba to provide a focused and dynamic leadership for the labour movement.

“There is no appropriate moment than now to also work assiduously to re-position the Congress and brace up to the challenge of revolution of expectations of the affiliates of the Congress and Nigerians as a whole, while also providing a focused and dynamic leadership that will chart a new course for the Nigerian labour movement as vanguard in the struggle for good governance, democratic consolidation and social justice,” he said.

Calling the attention of Comrade Ayuba to the challenges faced by the labour movement, Oshiomhole said “There is also the challenge of re-uniting and rebuilding confidence amongst all the affiliates of the Congress in the spirit of unity and solidarity that the Nigerian Labour Movement shares.

“In the same vein, there is also the important task of deepening the strategic connection between the Congress and the Nigerian civil society.”

The Edo State Governor further emphasised that as Comrade President, Ayuba should see his victory as a collective and not personal one, adding that his tenure to lead the NLC is coinciding with one of the most critical periods in Nigeria’s history, politically and economically.

He, therefore, wished the new NLC President a successful tenure, assuring him of his continued solidarity, cooperation and support at all times.

Oshiomhole also appealed to those who felt aggrieved by the outcome of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) assembly, to resist the temptation of convening a factional congress.

“Let me seize this opportunity to appeal to my Comrades, in particular, Comrades Joe Ajaero, Issa Aremu and Igwe Achese to resist the temptation of convening a factional congress either on Friday or at any other date.

“Having fought the good fight, there is honour in conceding to defeat even in the face of imperfections,” he said.

However, he enjoined them all to submit to the demands of democratic principles, by extending the hands of fellowship to the new leadership in order to get on with the task of re-positioning the Nigerian Labour Congress.