May Day: Labour moves to avert job, salary cuts - Dove Bulletin - Online News Bulletin

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May Day: Labour moves to avert job, salary cuts

May Day: Labour moves to avert job, salary cuts

The Nigeria Labour Congress and the Organised Private Sector (OPS) on Friday pleaded for Federal Government’s protection for workers against the onslaught of COVID-19.

The NLC, in particular, expressed concern over reports that workers’ salaries were being cut by employers and in some cases workers at the risk of losing their means of livelihood.

The OPS sought support for the growth and survival of businesses in the country, especially in the formal and informal sectors, as Nigeria continues to battle the economic impact of the coronavirus.

President Muhammadu Buhari assured workers, especially those in the private sector, that government would do all within its power to protect them from undue retrenchment.

State governors saluted workers for their contribution to the general wellbeing of Nigerians.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State doubled the life insurance for health workers in the state.

The Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) and the Nigeria Labour Congress asked the Federal Government to support the growth and survival of businesses in the country, especially in the formal and informal sector as Nigeria continues to battle the economic impact of Covid -19.

Specifically, the NLC urged the government to ensure that the $3.5 billion stimulus package for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and other businesses as announced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) go to businesses in need of it.

President of the NLC Ayuba Wabba in a solidarity message on the occasion also appealed to private and informal sector employers to show solidarity with workers by ensuring wage protection, income support especially through paid leave and sick leave.

Wabba said this critical period was not the time to stop or deduct from workers’ salaries, saying that such decision would be both illogical and illegal as workers’ salaries are core elements of employment contracts and collective bargaining agreements.

He said the NLC has asked its affiliates and state councils to resist any salary deduction on the account of Covid-19.

He also called on state governments who are yet to negotiate with workers on salary adjustment as a result of the N30, 000 new minimum wages to “quickly attend to this very urgent business.”

In a similar message, the Director-General of NECA, Timothy Olawole warned that if businesses failed to survive the effects of Covid -19 within the shortest period, it could result in massive job losses in the country.

He said: “It is our responsibility- government, employers and workers to ensure is that this does not occur.”

“During the lockdown, activities of organised businesses and the informal sector were severely disrupted. For a country whose socio-economic environment was already challenging, the advent of the pandemic has placed an additional burden on businesses and put thousands of workers under the threat of job losses.

“Nevertheless, employers have remained faithful in their obligations to their workers despite the lockdowns and six weeks or thereabouts of non-productivity. As a representative body of employers of labour, we have continued to encourage our members to continue to hold on and carter to the full compliments of their workforce for as long as it is practicable.”
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