The Trade Union Congress (TUC) has vowed to mount adequate pressure on governments at all levels to honour agreements with labour in 2017.
This solemn vow was contained TUC’s New Year message by its President, Bobboi Kaigama, and Secretary General, Musa-Lawal M. Ozigi, the labour union said its decision to be silent on some disturbing and unpalatable national events in 2016 was deliberate in expectation that the Buhari administration would take the opportunity to settle down and hit the ground running.
TUC cited health and education sectors, as areas in which the government failed to honour agreements it voluntarily entered into with unions, just as public servants are still being owed, though the Federal Government disbursed money to some state governors for the payment of the salaries. It admitted being labeled weak as it kept quiet in the face of non-payment of salaries and sacking of workers. But in 2017, the TUC promised not to close its eyes to job losses, non-payment of salaries and allowance of workers, even as it called for the upward review of wages of workers.
“Our position is, any governor who cannot pay salaries as and when due should not earn his, let alone pay his aides. We are going to work tirelessly in conjunction with our state councils to actualize that.” The labour union noted that the devaluation of the naira and other unfriendly economic measures are taking a toll on workers and Nigerians generally, arguing that the usual excuse of no money because of the activities of the Niger Delta militants and drop in oil price does not subsist.
“Our suggestion is: see to the demands of the Niger Delta militants, pass the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) into law, diversify the economy, reduce the cost of running the government, jail looters of our treasury and there would be money to do much more than Nigerians are yearning for. We hope governments at all levels listen to the voice of reason.”