By Lanre Adesanya
The United Labour Congress (ULC) has directed it’s members and affiliates to brace up for a nationwide strike action, sequel to the alleged insensitivity of the Federal Government to their plight in relation to the controversy bedevilling the negotiated N65,000 minimum wage.
The directive was given in the communique issued after the ULC’s Emergency Central Working Committee (CWC) at Ebutte Meta, Lagos.
The labour front lament the taciturn stance of government to their demands, not minding the fourteen days ultimatum earlier given.
ULC President Comrade Joe Ajaero who read the communique noted that, ” the federal Government has not responded sensibly and positively to our demands neither have we seen any sign that suggests otherwise.
” That the federal government of Nigeria through the federal minister of Labour has instead chosen to trivialize a life and death matter concerning Nigerian workers and masses and unfortunately chose to thread the path of name-calling.
He noted that they have envisaged an untoward moves from government and their fears has been confirmed.
“Our worst fear concerning Government’s motives over the national minimum wage has been confirmed that the federal Government has remained immune to the suffering and wanton deprivations which its policies and actions have brought upon the working people of this country.
“This government is demonstrably not worried about the increasing poverty in the country which has since last year made Nigeria the country with the largest number of poor people all over the globe.
” It is not therefore surprising that it does not think of how to lift Nigerians out of this morass that Government has shown by its actions a remarkable lack of seriousness which recently may have characterized governance in Nigeria.
“We therefore wish to reaffirm our commitment to pursue the attainment of our collective demand for N65,000 per month as the new National Minimum wage for all Nigerian workers as harmonized by organized Labour.
ULC shall in conjunction with other labour centres working with Civil Society Organisations across Nigeria embark on a nation-wide strike if nothing is done to meet our demands on the expiration of this collective ultimatum in the next few days.
“By this communiqué we order all our affiliates and state councils nation-wide to move to the final level of alert in their preparation for the proposed nation-wide strike.
“We urge Nigerian masses to stockpile food and other necessities given the know intransigencies and insensitivity of this Government, has shown to our collective plight as a people.
“We wish to state that Nigerian workers will not only deny any government that denies us our living wages in the forthcoming general elections but will also set up an active machinery to mobilise against their elections
The United Labour Congress of Nigeria (ULC), reiterates its commitment to the promotion of the welfare, rights and privileges of Nigerian workers and masses.
” A new National Minimum Wage of N65,000 (Sixty-five thousand Naira) is desirable and very possible. It is only a shortage of patriotism and a surplus of official greed and corruption that is the bane of a reasonable national minimum wage!
“Chase Security Vote out! Chase heavy convoys and political appointees out! Reduce the cost of governance! A living wage becomes possible! We repeat; We indeed have no shortage of necessary resources to pay a new national minimum wage of N65,000. What we have is a shortage of Will!
Fielding questions from newsmen Ajaero noted that the needless inertness of Ajaokuta steel plant is a disservice to Industry and Nigerian economy, as employment opportunities abounds.
“Federal government should divert recovered loots to revamp the steel plant and joblessness will be lot more reduced”. Ajaero reiterated.