By Niyi Olutunde, Akure
Workers in Ondo state on Tuesday joined their colleagues across the 36 states to protest over a new national minimum wage, after a last minute attempt by the federal government to forestall the demonstration failed Monday night.
The organised labour unions who converged in front of Adegbemile Cultural Centre around 7am started the peaceful demonstration to Governor’s office Alagbaka where they demanded that President, Muhammadu Buhari submit a bill to the parliament for the implementation of the N30, 000 minimum wage for workers.
It would be recalled that the federal government’s meeting with labour union leaders to avert a national protest over non-transmission of a new national minimum wage bill to the National Assembly, was inconclusive Monday.
The NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, while addressing workers in Akure, said the protest became imperative in order to ensure that the minimum wage bill processes for the transmission would be completed.
Wabba who was represented by Comrade Yemisi Bamgbose however said the protest was about implementation and therefore, has no link with the transmission of the bill or any political parties.
In a letter written by the labour unions to Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu which was made available to our Correspondent read: “Your Excellency will recall the Tripartite Committee on the National Minimum Wage, comprising the government, organised private sector and organised labour has concluded its work and submitted the report with a draft bill to President Muhammadu Buhari on 6th November, 2018.
“It is also noteworthy that six governors were members of the committee that worked out the new National minimum wage. Therefore, it stands to reason that the report and draft bill were the collective efforts of the broadest spectrum of all concerned parties and should thus commend the support of every governor.
“Therefore, the organised labour would wish to obtain from your excellency a commitment to the speedy implementation of the new national minimum wage of N30,000 when enacted into law.
“While counting on your excellency to make the best endeavor to express agreement with thus patriotic, convey our polite gesture to your colleagues the enlightened public, generally and advance the cause of the new national minimum wage, we advise that: the political behaviour of Nigeria workers is contingent upon the commitment to the expeditious enactment of the new national minimum wage by the legislature before the polls.
“Nigerian workers as voters will indeed take their eventual fate to the polling stations and indicate in the ballot their views on the faithful implementation of new minimum wage by the executive before the polls.
“Nigerian workers and family will not and cause friends and allies not to vote for any candidate in the forthcoming elections who hesitate or refuse to commit to the national minimum wage.
“For the avoidance of any iota of doubt, the fate of the new national minimum wage will largely determine the electoral preference of Nigerian workers in 2019”.
Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Ifedayo Abegunde who addressed the labour unions on behalf of the governor however said the welfare of the workers in the state was paramount to the government.
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