Utomi advocates new approach to labour relations in Nigeria
He also urged the incoming administration of Gen Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) to radically slash the cost of running political offices in Nigeria.
Utomi made said this while speaking with newsmen in Lagos on the plight of Nigerian workers and the May Day celebrations.
He said that Nigeria, especially the incoming administration, should set a new agenda for labour in which the rules of the game was understood by all.
“We need a system of collective bargaining which entails appropriate wealth distribution for all.
“There should be an opportunity for workers both in the private and public sectors to recognise that the economy is a partnership that can create greater wealth when fairly distributed.
“International and domestic capital must respect the fair due to labour as a partner rather than see it as a threat.
“This is the fastest way to guarantee economic growth. Labour must get its fair due because it is the peoples’ sweat that creates wealth” he said.
He said that leadership must be cost effective and there was need for Nigerian leaders to do away with lavish comfort at the detriment of its workers.
“The President of Indonesia rides bicycle to work while the President of Uruguay uses a 30 year old Beatles.
“I am not saying that our President or leaders should ride bicycles or use Beatles. What I am saying is that there should be equitable distribution of wealth.
“Some of the state governments owing workers are busy chartering planes for their own comfort while their people toil in vain.
“We should care more about job creation so as to relieve the pressure on workers whose meagre salaries cannot even sustain their immediate families” he said.
He noted that fair distribution of wealth would make for posterity and greater opportunities for the nation.
Utomi, however, urged workers to be more diligent in their duties and assist government in creating wealth that can in turn provide more employment.