May Day: Kwara Labour Unions insist on N30,000 minimum wage
Workers in Kwara state under the aegis of Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) seized the Workers Day celebration yesterday to reiterate their demand for implementation of the N30,000 minimum wage, insisting that the demand is non-negotiable.
But Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq in his response pleaded for the unionís understanding over the N30,000 minimum wage and consequential adjustment and assured them of improving their well-being despite the dwindling revenue amid the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The TUC chairman in the state, Comrade Akinsola Akinwunmi,who spoke on behalf of the labour unions at the May Day celebration in Ilorin in his address, titled, "COVID-19 Socio and Economic Crisis:Challenges for Decent Jobs, Social Protection and People's Welfare."called on the state government to come back to negotiation table on their outstanding demands, adding that the implementation of the minimum wage is their right.
Akinsola noted that May Day is a day to appreciate Nigeria workers for the symbolic sacrifice to the nation's economy.
He said, "The N30,000 minimum wage and consequential adjustment is our right and a must to be implemented for improved standard of living of the least paid workers in the service of government of Kwara State.
"Across the globe, May Day represents an auspicious moment in the life of an average worker largely on account of the fact that it presents a unique opportunity to, collectively, as a labour movement, appraise the contributions of workers to the nation's economy.
Comrade Akinwumi also said that ďMay Day further places on our shoulder the onerous responsibilities of continually being the voice of the generality of our voiceless workers by intensifying the struggles against any perceived form of social injustice and anti-workers policies that negatively affect the well-being of our workers
"The Workers Day may not only be viewed as a day to celebrate the hardworking people, but a moment to reflect on our collective struggle, rights, respect, and dignity".
Also speaking at the event, Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq in his response described the Nigerian workers as key to national growth.
Represented by the state Head of Service, Mrs. Modupe Oluwole, the governor reassured Kwara workers of his administration's commitment to improving their well-being despite the dwindling revenue amid the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Describing the labour as an integral component of successive governments and a determining factor in the attainment of good governance, AbdulRazaq commended them for adding value and for being committed to the growth of Kwara.
On the consequential adjustment component of the minimum wage, the Governor sought patience and understanding of the union particularly in the light of the current economic realities.
"I understand the position of Labour, particularly regarding the Minimum Wage. I assure you all that we certainly do not overlook these issues and we are considering all positive options to further make our workers happy. I call for your understanding and support for us to get through this hard time,Ē he said.