Senator Adams Oshiomhole, yesterday urged the organised labour to ensure that all workers in Nigeria were paid N35,000 wage award to cushion the effect of the petrol subsidy removal before Christmas.
According to the former President of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, and immediate past governor of Edo State, the money must be paid to workers whether public or private failing which the employers both public and private sectors must not be allowed to enjoy a peaceful Christmas celebration.
He spoke at the 8th Quadrennial Delegates Conference of the Non-Academics Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions, NASU, in Abuja.
Oshiomhole said: “NLC threatened strike or something like that because that was not exactly the way we used to do it. Now N35,000 was approved but I don’t know what NLC demanded because it was not exposed to the Nigerian people. The tradition is the National Working Committee and National Executive Council would meet, debate and would say based on this increase, this is the minimum without which we would not accept.
“So, with that decision, it is not the decision of the president. It must be the decision of an organ of NLC which NASU is a prominent member. When we formed LASCO, Labour Civil Society Coalition, we did it for a purpose. Don’t lament the situation.
“Now that you have N35,000, there are workers from different states, are all the state governments implementing it? The answer is no. Why should it be no and why are they at peace? Your members are not at peace in the states. It should not be selective application. The N35,000 must affect all workers. It has to go round all workers in Nigeria whether public or private, that is the logic of nationwide strike.
“The truth is, that demand must affect every worker whether private or public. That is the logic of the demand. Once you have an agreement, it has to be obeyed at all levels.
“Please tell the NLC President that those are the issues that they must solved, so that this December, nobody goes home without that N35,000. Whether such worker is working for the federal, state, local government or the private sector, that N35,000 must be paid. If you don’t pay, there would be no Christmas for you as employer whether public or private sector.
Earlier, President of NASU, Dr. Makolo Hassan, appreciated “The President for approving three months’ wage award of N35,000 to federal employees as an interim measure to cushion/ameliorate the hardship and suffering brought upon the people of this country as a result of the removal of fuel subsidy.
“We equally appreciate state governments that have also done the same for employees of their states. In view of the fact that all state government workers are equally affected by the same hardship occasioned by the removal of fuel subsidy, we call on the remaining state governments to, as a matter of urgency, announce and implement their awards.”