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Again, NLC tackles Imo govt, asks for ‘ghost workers’ to be returned to their jobs



It seems the last has not been heard of the impasse between the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Imo State government.

In the run up to the governorship election in that state, the labour union had initiated moves to embark on a protest against what it felt were abuses against workers in the state.

In the heat of the confrontation, NLC president Joe Ajaero had been arrested and brutalized by those he claimed were agents of the state government.

However, speaking on Tuesday at the 19th iteration of the NLC 2023 Harmattan School in Abuja, Ajaero stated that “the only thing that can assuage our pains is for the Imo Government to address all labour issues.

“They are also to return the so-called ‘ghost workers’ to their jobs, pay all outstanding salaries and pensions and call back all victimised workers to their jobs,”he said.

Ajaero, who was represented by the NLC vice president Benjamin Anthony, also stated that all tiers of government must acknowledge the extreme difficulties of existence and living circumstances.

According to him, the new national minimum wage negotiations would start in 2024 and be determined by the current cost of living in the nation.

The Harmattan School is part of the NLC National Schools where it trains and empowers members of its affiliated unions through skills development.

“The removal of subsidies on petroleum products has further worsened the challenges faced by working people,” he said.

READ ALSO: Subsidy: NLC kicks as Kogi govt rules out new wages for workers

“That is unleashing severe pain and contributing to galloping inflation and increasing inequality and poverty.

“We must reckon that a well-motivated and well-remunerated workforce has a positive impact on productivity and national development.

“As we anticipate the commencement of negotiations for the National Minimum Wage in 2024.

“We seek the understanding of all stakeholders to ensure that we use this opportunity to arrive at a minimum wage commensurate with the prevailing cost of living,” he added.

The ultimate objective, according to Ajaero, is to set a living wage that compensates employees for their expenses while also allowing for some savings.

According to him, there is a serious risk to collective bargaining and the freedom of association because of the recent attack on labourers and their leaders in Imo.

“This is as enshrined in Section 40 of the 1999 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended and the ILO Conventions 87 and 98 on Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining”.

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