By Efa Sunday
The Cross River State chapter of the Organised Labour Union has joined other State unions in the peaceful protest for a NGN30, 000 minimum wage across the streets of Calabar.
Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Cross River State, Comrade John Ushie, while addressing members of the union at Mary Slessor roundabout stated that Nigerian workers have run out of patience and that it is only a “delay tactic” on the path of the Federal and State Governments to go into election proper.
“The minimum wage is long overdue since 2015. But you will agree with me and other Nigerian workers that we have run out of patience. Some of the workers even accuse the leaders of the union of being compromised. They say that because 3years ago, this minimum wage was long overdue. But the Government continues to play on the intelligence of Nigerian workers,” the Chairman said.
Mr. Ushie while calling for patience from the Local Government Union leaders, he also said that workers are not reneging on their effort to get President Muhamadu Buhari led administration to sign the tripatite agreement and forward same to the floor of the National Assembly as soon as possible else “there will be no election.”
He also said, “We are here to protest to obtain a commitment from our State Governor for the implementation of the NGN30,000 minimum wage, when it is enacted into law.
“We are also here to send a message to Mr. President to immediately transmit the minimum wage bill to the National Assembly for immediate passage into law, so that the money can get to Nigeria worker’s pocket.” He said.
The labour leader also condemned the extravagant lifestyles of some Governors, suggesting that “all workers, including politicians and political office holders be placed on thirty thousand naira minimum wage,” stating that if “this is done then they will have enough money to build infrastructure, power, water facilities and other essential social amenities.”
However, some of the inscription written on the placards and banners spell out lucidly the following; “Stop Delay Tactics,” “Minimum Wage Three Years Overdue,” “Our Minimum Wage Or No Election,” “Let Politicians Be Placed On Minimum Wage,” “Transmit Minimum Wage To The National Assembly Now.”
Others are; “Governors’ Forum Is Not Constitutional,” “Government Should Emulate Organised Private Sector,” “Labour Rejects Any High-Power Technical Committee On Minimum Wage,” “NGN30,000 Minimum Wage Now Or Never,” and “Negotiation On Minimum Wage Is Over, Now Is Implementation.”
On his part, a representative of the National Labour Chairman, Comrade Boniface Isok, also commended the efforts of the union, for the patience and maturity displayed so far.
He assured everyone that the protest will be as peaceful as possible, while also stating that “labour will not hesitate to show them (Government) what we can do if anyone tries to disrupt the protest, or feels that he or she is wiser.”
The protest took off from the muster point at Mary Slessor roundabout through Bogobri through eleven eleven and finally to the Governor’s office, where a letter containing their demands was submitted.
See pictures of the peaceful protest below.
Since You Are Here, Support Good Journalism
CrossRiverWatch was founded on the ideals of deploying tech tools to report in an ethical manner, news, views and analysis with a narrative that ensures transparency in governance, a good society and an accountable democracy.
Everyone appreciates good journalism but it costs a lot of money. Nonetheless, it cannot be sacrificed on the altar of news commercialisation.
Consider making a modest contribution to support CrossRiverWatch's journalism of credibility and integrity in order to ensure that all have continuous free access to our noble endeavor.