NLC mobilises for protest over planned re-classification of minimum wage

Adelani Adepegba,  Abuja

The Nigeria Labour Congress has said it will embark on a nationwide protest on March 10, 2021 over moves by the National Assembly to remove the national minimum wage from the exclusive to the concurrent legislative list.

The Congress said the protest would be held in the 36 states Houses of Assembly in reaction to the plans by the House of Representatives to alter the present wage structure, which gave the Federal Government the power to negotiate minimum wage for workers in the country.

Rising from an emergency National Executive Council meeting in Abuja on Tuesday, the NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, vowed that the Congress would resist “any attempt to exterminate Nigeria’s working class.’’

The House of Representatives had last week debated a bill to remove the powers to negotiate wage matters from the exclusive to the concurrent list, citing the inability of state governors to pay the N30,000 minimum wage for the move.

But reacting to the development, Wabba stated that the workers would not watch “hard-fought rights which are global standards bastardised by opportunistic and narrow- thinking politicians.”

According to a communique jointly signed by Wabba and the acting General Secretary of the NLC, Ismail Bello, the bill is an attempt to undermine Nigeria’s working class.

He said, “The NEC decided that there will be a national protest action commencing from March 10, 2021 in the Federal Capital Territory and especially to the National Assembly.

“The NEC decided that should the need arise, it has empowered the National Administrative Council of the NLC to declare and enforce a national strike action,  especially if the legislators continue on the ruinous path of moving the national minimum wage from the exclusive legislative list to the concurrent legislative list.”

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