Nigeria: Joint May Day 2018 Statement of MAPS

 

WE CALL FOR MASS STRUGGLE TO WIN NEW NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE

STATEMENT OF THE MOVEMENT AGAINST POVERTY AND SLAVERY

 

 

 

We of the Movement Against Poverty and Slavery utilises the medium of this year's celebration of Workers' May Day to call on the leadership and rank and file of the entire labour movement to build a serious mass struggle of new minimum wage. This is drawn against the background of the requirement of the Minimum Wage Act 2011 that stipulates increase of minimum wage at every seven years' interval. While we are aware of the latest moves of Government in organizing Public Hearing to effect the Amendment of the new minimum wage, we call on workers not to invest illusions but build necessary mass struggle to win the new national minimum wage.

 

We are aware of the N66,500.00(sixty six thousand, five hundred Naira) by the Nigerian Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress as well as the demand of N90,000.00(ninety thousand naira as the new national minimum wage. We are of the view that irrespective of the amount being put forward by entire labour movement, only the building of genuine and relentless mass struggle can win a new minimum wage.

 

We also hold that the agitations and demand for a new national minimum wage must be linked to the demand that mass retrenchment of workers is not carried out on the basis of a new national minimum wage. We must also demand that the increase in minimum wage must be at the rate of inflation to match up the skyrocketing levels of living conditions.

 

We are convinced that without the strategy outlined above, the entire capitalist elite, both in political circles (President and Governors) and in big business (large and small scale employer of labour) would resist a scratch on their perks and privileges, which is what minimum wage increase appears to them. Only the building of mass struggle on a relentless basis can win the demands.

 

We are of the view that such a genuine mass struggle for a new national minimum wage must be linked to the building of a genuine mass working people's political alternative. The labour movement must arise to its historical  task of building a genuine Workers' party as a vehicle through which working class people can democratically put up candidates that can stand on the programme of raising and fulfilling the demands of workers and oppressed people. The effort at reclaiming the Labour Party must be taken seriously or in any event that the party remains in its perpetually rotten state, a new mass working people's party must be built that can forge a united front with genuine left and radical parties to displace the entire capitalist elite