Economy

Strike Threats: You’re traders and shouldn’t be taken seriously, says Timi Frank to Organised labour

Former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Comrade Timi Frank has lashed out at organised labour in the country, describing them as traders who should not be taken seriously over the implementation of the new national minimum wage.

In a statement made available to The Nation on Friday, Frank asked Nigerians not to take the labour leaders serious over their threat to call out workers on strike over delays in the implementation of the new national minimum wage signed into law since April 18, 2019, by the President.

Frank said the labour leaders have been compromised to the extent that they can no longer fight for the welfare of their members, adding that the cry by organised labour was coming too late.

He lamented that with the proposed imposition of charges on telecommunications providers, Value Added Tax, increased bank charges, proposed tollgates and partial closure of land borders have rendered the N30,000 minimum wage useless before it commences.

Frank said the labour leaders were making empty threats so as to be seen as serving the interest of their members while they wine and dine with top administration officials.

Frank recalled that during ex-President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration that “gave more attention to Nigerian workers’ plight, TUC, NLC, ASUU, Health workers and others were always in the news for one demand or the other and frequently embarking on strike and demonstrations but they can no longer bite because most of their leaders are now card-carrying members of the APC.

“The Buhari-led federal government promised the Nigerian workers heaven on earth before the general elections but has been complaining of no money to pay workers just N30,000.

“However, when it is time to use money for elections, the administration will not mind to deep hands into various revenue-generating agencies to prosecute their selfish agenda.

“The money being looted daily under the current administration is enough to pay even more than N30,000 as minimum wage to Nigerian workers but no one will blame the government because the current labour leaders are weak and compromised.

“They have been used and dumped by the same administration and they can only bark and not bite.”

Frank said the politicised Labour Union is one of the problems of Nigeria as they have refused to take action to resist bad policies of government and wondered how the Buhari-led government would accomplish their pledge to bring out 100 million Nigerians out of poverty when it has refused to pay ordinary N30,000 as minimum wage.

“All over the world, Labour Unions are always the first to speak up against unnecessary increase in taxes, bad policies and other actions that have direct bearing on the citizens but in Nigeria, most of the Union leaders are compromised and have turned a blind eye to the plight of their members,” Frank said.

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