By Niyi Olutunde, Akure
The organised labour union yesterday dismissed insinuation in some quarters that the federal government is not sincere enough to implement the newly approved minimum wage of N30,000, insisting that the new wage is not a scam.
The President-General of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Comrade Bobboi Kaigama gave the disclosure in Akure during the 5th Triennial Delegates’ Conference of the Ondo state chapter of the Union where Comrade Helen Odofin emerged the new State Chairman.
Swearing-in the new officers, Kaigama who was represented by the Secretary-General of TUC, Barr. Musa Lawal noted that a presidential technical committee to work out new salaries templates had been set up and expected to submit its report next week, explaining that labour unions and their leaders were not sleeping.
The TUC President assured that organised labour were following development at the committee to ensure workers were not shortchanged with new minimum wage table.
Kaigama said, “no, we are not sleeping, the battle for the minimum wage is very straight and we are not sleeping on it, what we are currently doing is to create a template and that is why we are trying to appeals to those that are receiving more than thirty thousand naira, is not something you do by magic, it’s technical and that is why we (government and labour) set-up (Presidential) technical committee to look into the matter”.
“We don’t believe government can scam the workers because I believe in the welfarism of everybody and I don’t have doubt in President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration either to scam or not”.
“But the welfare of workers must be take care of. If him has said that whoever has denied you your right take him or her to court, it means that government is serious about it. We know that state governments have their own challenges on it but at the federal level it has been approved and I believed in their sincerity”.
Kaigama in his words, “Nigeria workers have suffered alot, they need to be encouraged, happy. Government needs to do something on it quickly”.
Other new officers include, Clement Fatuase – Vice Chairman; Soladoye Ekundayo -Ex-officio; Dayo Adebiyi -State Secretary; Tope Akinsola – Asst Sec; Taimiyu Olufemi – Treasurer; Ikechukwu Nneke – Fin Sec; Femi Owolabi -PRO; Olusegun Akinbolasere -Auditor I; Makinde Ayesoro – Chairman, TUC Women’s wing and Secretary, women’s wing – Mrs Kazeem.
The outgone State Chairman of TUC, Comrade Soladoye Ekundayo advised the new executive members to make a judicious use of their time and energies by attending to the edge of their razor before undertaking the operations that affect workers.
“For every two step forward, it often feels we take one step back, but your support and cooperation has always propelled myself and other members of the outgoing executives into a forward motion and constantly widen our struggles in the demand for workers rights.
Comrade Helen Odofin, the new TUC chairman in her acceptance speech said, “the Congress and its teaming members have at this time asked me to take lead in the struggle for workers welfare and I have accepted”.
The Ondo state Chairman of the Nigeria labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Sunday Adeleye said labour unions in the state would start negotiations on the new minimum wage as soon as the federal government comes up with an acceptable white paper on the template.
Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu represented by his Special Adviser, Mr Alaba Isijola reiterated his administration’s determination to improve on the welfare of workers, reassuring that the state government would implement the new minimum wage whenever an agreeable template was released.
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