The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) says its members will not be intimidated by a threat from the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) to sack workers if the new national minimum wage of N30,000 is implemented.
NLC president Ayuba Wabba said this in a statement issued on Thursday in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
The governors had said paying N30,000 new minimum wage would lead to bankruptcy, adding that only Lagos and Rivers can afford it.
Zamfara state governor and chairman of the NGF, Abdulaziz Yari, said it was impossible to implement the N30,000 minimum wage without downsizing the workforce all over the country.
Reacting to the governors’ stance, Wabba said Nigerian workers would vote out any governor who refused to implement the new wage.
He said that the threat to sack workers was not new to the union, “therefore, the current one by the governor of Zamfara cannot be used to intimidate labour.”
Wabba accused some political leaders of wanting to enslave workers with meagre salary, asking them to compare “their humongous salaries” with the N30,000 new minimum wage demanded by the union.
His words: “The consequences of workers retrenchment are too grievous for any political office holder truly elected by the people to contemplate.
“Few political office holders are bent on enslaving Nigerian workers with peanuts mislabeled as salaries.
“We urge such elected public officials to subject their humongous salaries and allowances, reputed to be among the highest in the world to public perusal pro rata with the minimum wage they want to force down the throats of Nigerian workers.
“To the oppressors, we have only one answer for you, we will never sleep on our rights.
“We hereby reiterate our directive to Nigerian workers to vote out any politician or political party that refuses to pay the new national minimum wage of N30, 000.
“We shall continue to consolidate our efforts to strengthen already existing platforms and structures to give teeth to our resolve to vote out anti-labour.
“It would interest Nigerians to know that the new national minimum wage of N30,000 was a product of intense and robust negotiations at the National Minimum Wage Tripartite Negotiation Committee that lasted for one year.
“At the National Minimum Wage Tripartite Negotiation Committee, state governments were represented by six states, one state from each of the six geo-political zones.”