The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has condemned the removal of wages from the exclusive list to the concurrent list by the National Assembly (NASS) in the on-going amendment exercise of the 1999 constitution.
The Congress also promised to gather workers for action by Monday if the NASS action is not reversed.
In a statement signed by Dr. Peter Ozo-Eson, NLC General Secretary, the Congress said it saw the removal as “an act of treachery masterminded by conservative governors and their cohorts in the national assembly which will do the polity no good.”
The statement read in part: “We wish to state in no uncertain terms that the Congress will mobilize its members to resist this move to scrap the national minimum wage.
“We recall that last year, our national campaign and mobilization on this subject matter was suspended at the instance of the leadership of the senate which promised to revisit the issue now that they “are better informed”.
“We recall paying tribute to the House of Representatives, who in their wisdom did not contemplate removing wages from the exclusive list.
“It is also worth recalling that the just concluded National Conference retained Wages on the Exclusive List, in deference to the logic of the argument for the necessity of maintaining Wages on the Exclusive List.
“We have generated and circulated enough literature on this subject matter and we are completely at a loss as to the rationale for this turn-around”, it stated.
The Congress however advised the national assembly to reason by urgently retracing their steps as the consequences of such action could be grim for the nation.
According to the congress, it has explained severally that the basic rationale for fixing minimum wage is to ensure that employees, particularly the unorganized and unskilled, are not exploited by their employers to the extent that their pay becomes so low that it creates a pool of the working poor.
Appealing to Nigerians to understand with them, the Congress had decided on an emergency NEC to be convened for Monday October 27, to mobilize workers for further action if the wages are finally removed.
“We appeal to the Nigerian people to show understanding in the event of fall-outs from our proposed action”, it stated.