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Triple May Day celebrations for Organised Labour : Metro : Nigerialog.com - Nigeria's Premier Online Forum

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Triple May Day celebrations for Organised Labour

By: Ramjoe (M) |Time : May 01, 2019, 06:56:48 AM
TODAY is International Workers Day or Labour Day. It is also known as May Day, though it has little to do with an ancient European spring festival usually celebrated on May 1.

May Day is the day set aside by the International Labour movement since 1904 to highlight the conditions, struggles, victories, hopes and aspirations of workers.

In Nigeria and other parts of the world, it is usually a public holiday characterised by Labour unions mustering their members in public squares, chanting solidarity songs with placards, tabling their demands and listening to speeches by their leaders and top government officials.

This year’s celebration is three-pronged. Apart from the May Day activities, Nigerian workers will be jumping for joy because just 12 days earlier, on Friday, April 18, 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari had signed the new National Minimum Wage, NMW, of N30,000 into law. It brought to an end a fairly brief but highly intense struggle for the upping of the NMW from N18,000 to the new figure. Between August 2018 and April 2019, the NMW received a fast-tracked treatment. The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, led by Comrade Ayuba Wabba, along with other Labour groups, had capitalised on the onset of campaigns and elections to force the political office holders to capitulate to their demands for a new N30,000 NMW or nothing. Two warning strikes sent enough message. Despite feeble resistance from the Governors’ Forum, the New National Minimum Wage Bill made rapid progress through the two chambers of the National Assembly within three months before the President gave it his accelerated assent. 

The NMW victory not only won higher wages for workers, it also marked the restoration of the power of Labour to force government to accede to its demands. This power appeared to have been lost when  NLC’s mobilisations against the Buhari government’s 67 per cent fuel price hike from N87 to N145 in May 2016 by Wabba, failed to draw enough support to force a reversal of the policy. The Nigerian Organised Labour can now rest assured that they still possess the clout to influence government policy and contribute to positive change in society.

However, Labour must be mindful of the great challenges of the immediate future. Getting government at all levels, and also the private sector, to pay the NMW will take another gargantuan round of struggles. With the economy still tottering just above recession and new governments in place, a holistic implementation of the NMW will be a tough call. Labour must rise to the occasion and prove that it is not just a grab-grab movement but one that can spawn ideas for the creation of wealth and prosperity to make life more abundant for workers and other citizens. Otherwise, this victory can turn to a pyrrhic one.

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Re: Triple May Day celebrations for Organised Labour

By: Ramjoe (M) |Time : May 01, 2019, 07:02:41 AM
We felicitate with our Labour Unions and hope the leaders of these Unions don't forget about solidarity and welfare of their members

Re: Triple May Day celebrations for Organised Labour

By: alagbe003 (M) |Time : May 01, 2019, 08:35:02 AM
I just hope the new minimum wage won't lead to another economic crisis for Nigerians.

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