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.

New Minimum Wage: Labour Unions Demand 56,000 Naira

Labour unions and the new minimum wageThe Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) are proposing 56,000 Naira (about $281) as a new minimum wage to the Nigerian Government.

The unions made the proposal at a press conference held on Wednesday 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.

‘Long Overdue’

The NLC President further told the conference that the last review of the national minimum wage was done in 2011 and that the setting up of a tripartite committee to review the newly proposed national minimum wage was long overdue.

He urged the government to set up the committee to the review the minimum wage, with their proposal in mind.

According to him, the representatives of the unions and the government could only fashion out the negotiation process at a roundtable.

He pointed out that the proposed minimum wage would ensure that no worker earned below what could sustain him or her in a month.

“You also know that when we negotiated the 18,000 Naira minimum wage, the value in terms of exchange rate at that time was almost at 110 Naira to the dollar.

“But as at today, the value of the Naira to the dollar has been reduced; and there are the issues of inflation and purchasing power, among others to contend with.

“So, it also about the law of the review of the wage, the law envisaged that within a circle of five years, there must be a review,” Mr Wabba stressed.

The unions demand is coming at a period the scarcity of petrol and other forex related issues have affected economic activities and had pushed inflation up, reducing the value of the Naira.

Nigerian workers are also preparing to mark the next Workers Day on May 1.

 

Senator Tinubu Congratulates Nigerian Workers

Senator TinubuSenator Oluremi Tinubu has joined in felicitating with Nigerian workers as they mark the Workers Day, appreciating the “immense contributions” they have made to national growth.

In a statement on May 1, the Senator representing Lagos Central Senatorial District, said that Nigerian workers have formed a formidable force in the growth of Nigeria with their commitment to duty and “they must be proud of their contributions”.

The statement reads; “As a nation we must continue to acknowledge and celebrate their selfless service and their overall contributions to the development of Nigeria.

“As the nation shares and rejoices with you for the hard work, patience and patriotism on May 1st of every year, it is my resolve as member of the 7th Senate and Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Employment, Labour and Productivity to work to ensure that the Nigerian Worker is adequately remunerated and his welfare maintained.

“I will continue to advocate for adequate protection of the Nigerian Worker against industrial hazards.

“In spite the of threats and dangers workers face in the discharge of their national duties and the erroneous security challenges that has crippled our economy over the years due to bad leadership, our workers have remained dedicated and undaunted to the position of government and senate.

“As we celebrate, I congratulate Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), they deserve commendation for uniting and giving a sense of direction to Nigerian Workers . Indeed, the labour of our heroes past has been uplifted.”

Senator Tinubu noted that the 7th Senate had passed into law, legislation intended to encourage, protect and improve the welfare of workers as well as sustaining their standards.

The National Minimum Wage Act and the Nigerian Workers Safety Bills were among the legislation, which she hoped would be sustained as Nigerians usher in a new era of democratic dispensation.

May Day: Osun, Plateau Workers Seek Payment of Salaries

As workers across the world mark the May Day, it was a different story for workers in Osun and Plateau State, as the usual funfair did not hold due to nonpayment of workers’ salary and emoluments for over five months.

Speaking to Journalists in Osogbo, Osun State capital, the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Osun State Chapter, Jacob Adekomi, ascribed the ‎”no celebration” to non payment of salaries to the workforce.

Adekomi said that as long as the workers’ salaries and other emoluments remain unpaid for five months‎, there is no basis for any ceremonial outing.

The Trade Union Congress (TUC), Osun State Chapter, gathered some of its members for what it termed as a prayer session in spite of the ”no celebration”.

The union said that although they were also in support of the ‘no pay no celebration’, what is required is prayer to help change the trend of things in the nation, particularly as the nation prepares for a transition.

Plateau State

Instead of the usual May Day celebrations, workers in Plateau state gathered at the Labour House in Jos in a solemn mood as salary and emoluments, including outstanding arrears of minimum wage, non release of promotions to workers, non payment of gratuity and pension to retirees, among other issues are still pending.

The NLC Chairman in the state, Jibrin Bancir, in a press briefing, observed that the singular act of bad governance and inhuman treatment of workers over the years by the outgoing regime have put the workers under trauma.

As the workers were reflecting on the situation at hand, another faction that emanated from the national body gathered at the state office of National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), led by Anthony Sule John, to address workers and the issue at the national level of the union.

The TUC, with about 12 affiliates comprising mostly senior association members, gathered at their office to also mark the May Day celebrations, with emphases on the plight of Plateau workers.

Kano: NLC Calls For Consultative Committee

KanoAs workers celebrate May day in Nigeria, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Kano State has called for the establishment of Labour-Government Consultative Committee.

Addressing a news conference to mark the 2015 Workers Day Celebration, the NLC Chairman, Ado Minjibir, said that the major concern of the union has to do with Labour casualisation in the private sector.

For some years now, Workers Day has been observed on a low level because of the challenges posed by the Boko Haram insurgency in the northern region.

The theme for this year focuses on reviving the workers’ right, especially those who died during service, as the workers in Kano sent their requests to the state government.

The labour leaders said that they would continue to mount pressure on authorities until their grievances are addressed.

Workers Day: NLC, Govt Should Curb Growing Unemployment – Ubani

As Nigerians join the rest of the world to mark International Workers Day, the federal government and the Labour Union have been advised to use this opportunity to put on their thinking caps and find ways to curb the growing unemployment rate in the country.labour

According to the chairman, Nigerian Bar Association, Ikeja branch, Mr. Onyekachi Ubani and the Vice Chairman, Association of Nigeria Licensed Custom Agents Mr. Dom Onyeka, the Nigerian Labour Congress still has a lot to do to protect the interest of workers.

They also believe the Trade unions  have a role to play in ensuring proper welfare for small business by pushing for more access to credit among other things.

Workers Gather At Eagles Square Abuja For Rally

nlcThe workers day rally in Abuja may not witness the usual pump that is associated with the day.

At about 10am only a few workers were  at the Eagles Square for the rally that goes with the day.

Some of the Union Leaders who spoke to Channels Television blamed the situation on insecurity in the land.

One of the officers used the public address system to plead with the workers who were outside the Eagle’s Square to get into the center stage for the rally, a plea that only a few workers adhered to.

Among the groups that came in on time was the Drivers’ Union otherwise known as the National Union of Road Transport Workers, followed by the Vice President of the Nigerian Labour Congress, Issa Aremu

Also, the Minister of Labour, Emeka Wogu had been at the Eagles Square very early trying hard to ensure that things are in order.

Akpabio approves N18,900.20 minimum wage in Akwa Ibom

The Akwa Ibom state governor, Godswill Akpabio has approved N18, 900. 27 k as minimum monthly wage in the state’s Civil Service, starting from this month.

Mr. Akpabio made the announcement in Uyo on Monday when the state’s chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) paid him a solidarity visit in respect of workers day rally.

The governor said that he had set up a committee, comprising labour and government officials to look into the issue as demanded by the NLC, adding that the outcome was the signing of the agreement.

He stated that execution of projects by his administration would not be at the detriment of payment of salaries and emolument of workers.

“Payment of salaries and emolument of worker remain a major project. Your entitlement on a monthly basis is a project for the government.

“When I was the Commissioner for Local Government, I had to stop projects so that they could pay all the salary arrears and allowances owed the workers.

“No government can claim that it was doing projects when workers are dying of hunger as a result of non-payment of salaries. ’