Ekiti labour unions demand a N100,000 minimum wage, before removing subsidies
On Wednesday, the organized labour in Ekiti State announced that it would demand a minimum wage of N100,000 from the federal government if it refused to repair existing refineries and construct new ones before removing fuel subsidies as planned.
The unions, which include the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress, demanded that the government take certain actions before removing the fuel subsidy, including domestically processing the country’s crude and using the refineries at 80% of their capacity.
Kolapo Olatunde, the chairman of the National Labour Congress, and Sola Adigun, a representative of the Trade Union Congress, spoke at a press conference in Ado-Ekiti to launch the celebration of Workers’ Day in 2023, which will have as its theme “Workers’ Rights and Socioeconomic Justice.”
“I tell you, if subsidy is removed as things are, our minimum wage can never be N30,000 again; we will not accept anything less than N100,000,” the NLC chairman said. Workers will only be able to handle the multiplier effects of subsidy removal in this way.
“I am sure that a bag of rice, which is currently selling for about N40,000, will cost N100,000 if the subsidy is removed because the cost of transportation and everything else will have skyrocketed.”
“Fixing the economy is the right thing to do,” he said. Fixing the refineries is the Federal Government’s advice. The government has two options for the refineries: either upgrade them or sell them and build new ones.
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The NLC’s position, he added, would be communicated at the ensuing National Executive Committee meeting.
The labour organizations praised Governor Biodun Oyebanji for giving workers’ concerns top priority, but criticized the Federal Government’s 40% wage increase for some employees, claiming that “what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.”
Adigun repeatedly emphasized the necessity of ensuring the observance of workers’ rights, including the right to work in dignity.
“Being well paid as and when due is a part of our rights,” he declared. Our N30,000 has currently been depleted by inflation. There is a problem if workers put in daily work but cannot afford to go home with their pay.
He said, “If these rights are given, if all Nigerians, no matter your background, can get those juicy jobs which are reserved for children of the privileged, there will be socioeconomic justice,” calling attention to the rights of workers among Nigerians, both employers and employees.