Lagos TUC laments rising cost of living, demands intervention
The Lagos State Council of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has charged Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to concretely address the rising cost of living in the state occasioned by the removal of subsidy.
The workers decried the parlous state of the economy and the ravaging effects of the uncoordinated subsidy removal by the Federal Government.
They argued that the palliative regime of the Federal Government has been observed as such which has robbed Peter to pay Paul, with no readiness of the government to cut the over-bloated cost of governance, as seen in the appointments made so far.
They said this at the end of a two-day workshop, organised by the state’s TUC, which had the theme ’21st Century Trade Unionism: Laws, Conventions and International Best Practices’.
A communiqué signed by Lagos TUC Council Chairman, Gbenga Ekundayo and Secretary, Abiodun Aladetan, said it was ironic that the same government that preached that the poor should breathe has cut the oxygen supplies, stating that the poor workers are currently suffocating.
It raised the concern that workers were yet to receive their share of the N5 billion given to states as palliatives from the Federal Government.
According to the Congress, the Lagos State Government respects the National Executive Council’s (NEC) decision for conditional cash transfer for public servants in the state.
As part of efforts to cushion the hardship and to avert labour disputes in the state, they demanded that the government should officially reduce the number of workdays and reduce the cost of transportation.
This, according to them, can be in the form of a special shift system, flexible work days and a work-from-home scheme.
To ensure a fair work pay rate, the workers demanded a speedy upward review of the National Minimum Wage Act to guarantee a living wage that allows the Nigerian worker to live in dignity.
While highlighting the challenges of the precarity of working conditions that most workers are subjected to, they argued that it was not a product of a lack of necessary legal instruments to guide employer-employee relations, but a lack of will on the part of those with the responsibility to protect the right of workers to fulfill this responsibility.
To this end, they said that there must be vigilant enforcement of legal instruments protecting the rights of workers to associate without victimization, harassment and unjust treatment.
On the importance of health and safety in the workplace, while urging employers to respect safety standards in line with international best practices, they condemned the high rate of underhand practices, inhumane treatments and slavish engagements by some employers of labour.
The workers alleged that the employers have an unquenchable thirst and insatiable appetite for profit maximisation, thereby endangering the lives of workers under their employ.
TUC warned against such practices, stating that Congress would not hesitate to press all legitimate buttons against such perpetrators.
They called for the regulation of the informal sector, which constitutes about 42 per cent of productive activities in the state.
The workers said the sector must as a matter of urgency, be regulated, licensed and standardised to ensure that artisans and technical workers are adequately remunerated to achieve a fair living standard.
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