The Trade Union Congress (TUC) says it will demand a wage increase for workers in the new year, following the devaluation of the naira by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The National President of the Congress, Alhaji Bobboi Kaigama, disclosed this at the end of the NUT’s National Executive Council meeting in Lagos on Sunday.
“The issue of wage is a dynamic thing. In stabilised economies, wages are directly proportional to the inflation trend of that country,” said Kaigama, who noted that the current devaluation had started impacting negatively on Nigerian workers.
“So, it is expected that following the devaluation of the naira and its resultant rise in inflation, salaries of workers should automatically be increased too.
“But in this country, even after devaluation of the currency, there will not be any increase in workers’ salary and that is bad.
“The moment devaluation is put in place the prices of goods and services surge, there should be a proportional increase in the workers’ pay,” he stated.
The TUC also advised the Federal Government to address the grievances of oil workers’ unions, as it noted that a strike by the oil workers would cripple the economy and make things harder than they already are.
This plea was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of the NUT’s National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Lagos. It was jointly signed by the TUC president, Comrade Bobboi Kaigama, and General Secretary, Mr Musa Lawal.
“The NEC in session expressed concern on the reported attitude and response of the concerned management and government agencies to the barrage of national issues, oil and gas policy and institutional issues as well as cases of unfair labour practices,” it said.
“The NEC also notes the strong efforts made by NUPENG/PENGASSAN to internally resolve the reported grievance at the instance of the Honourable Minister of Petroleum Resources and other agencies which the concerned managements severally frustrated.
“NEC therefore urges government to attend to all the reported issues as a matter of urgent national importance to avoid the backlash on the Nigerian public,” the communique said.
The congress also said that the global fall in the crude oil price should be translated into the reduction in the pump price of refined products in the country.
“The congress expresses dismay that the prices of refined petroleum products have remained unchanged despite the significant fall of crude oil prices which the CBN Governor acknowledges as a steady one.
“We call on the government to direct the appropriate agencies to respond by adjusting the pump price of petroleum products as this will go a long way In ameliorating the impact on the purchasing power by the devaluation of the naira,” it added.