The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) held its inaugural National Administrative Council (NAC) meeting in Abuja with a resolution to commence a round table Bi-monthly Dialogue ; a forum to review policies, discuss issues of national importance, formulating strategies as well as offering alternative views or models when necessary.
The communique issued after the NAC meeting approved the commencement of the round table bimonthly dialogue amongst other resolutions reached. Other urgent national issues deliberated on by the NAC include national security, Federal Government plan to borrow pension fund to develop infrastructure, casualisation of labour and implementation of the national minimum wage; and other core labour issues and matters of interest to workers.
On the issue of casualisation, the congress resolved to continue fighting casualisation where ever it rears its head, adding that it’s Committee on Organising is already mobilised.
The NAC, therefore, resolved to picket all the branches of the First Bank and UBA across the nation for days on end until they do the right and proper thing.
The Congress said it placed high premium on the implementation of the new national minimum wage in states complete with its consequential adjustments.
The communique read “The NAC observed a relatively high level of compliance with agreements signed in 16 states, negotiations on-going in others, with only about three states where no significant process is yet to take place.
“It said it had given the go ahead to state councils to embark on appropriate industrial action where government’s compliance or co-operation is in the breach. The NAC commended states where successes have been recorded and expressed support for those on strike in furtherance of minimum wage.
“In view of the importance Congress attaches to the issue of minimum wage, the NAC resolved to send national officers to states where there are challenges to strengthen their hand or action.”
On the crisis in Rivers State, the NAC expressed outrage at the locking up of the secretariat of the Congress in Port Harcourt by the state government and other measures to muscle Labour.
The NAC expressed dismay at the initiative of the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission to the effect that it would or is in the process of reviewing upward the salaries/emoluments of political office holders.
The congress said that the earnings of political office holders are already humongous and that if there is need for a review, it should be downward.
The communique read further “The NAC observed that the disparity between the earnings of political office holders and workers is huge and yet, they go to the same market. The NAC said that not satisfied by this huge disparity, political office holders often pad their earnings further widening the chasm between the have and the have-nots.
“The NAC further noted that Nigeria remains in a class of its own in the world in the context of its state of economy and the earnings of political office holders via-a-vis the earnings of workers.
“Accordingly, we demand that the review of the salaries or emoluments of political office holders be downward and not upward. The NAC also resolved to engage the process in the event the Commission goes ahead with its proposed review.”
The NAC called on President Muhammadu Buhari to do all that is necessary to restore security and confidence to every nook and cranny of the country.
It added that this would, among other things require new thinking, tough decisions, a holistic approach, broader briefing processes, increased reliance on technology, more citizen participation and enhanced vigilance at the borders.
As part of its contribution to the restoration of security in the land, the NAC approved that the Nigeria Labour Congress convene a peace and security summit.
The NAC also warned against politicisation of security, and instead called for its prioritisation.
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