Abuja, Jan. 23. 2024: The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), says the negotiation and implementation of a new nationsl minimum wage is a collective struggle for all and not just organised labour.
Mr Joe Ajaero, NLC President said this at the “lnternational Lenin Centenary” Conference on Monday in Abuja.
The Leninism emerged in a tumultuous period of history, marked by the Russian Revolution of 1917.
It sought to provide a framework for the establishment of a socialist state that emphasis on the class struggle and the need for a revolutionary vanguard to address the concerns of the working class remains relevant.
Ajaero therefore said that the only chance of escaping oppression and exploitation was building a collective power in unity.
He said this would further help in building a strong resistance to alleged forces fighting to deny every opportunity of changing the society.
According to him, it is important that at this juncture that I invite all of us as we prepare to negotiate the national minimum wage this year not to see it as a struggle for the NLC and TUC but a collective struggle.
“I request that we all join hands together from the beginning of the negotiation to the end of it and to its ultimate implementation.
“This is so that we can overcome those who have already made up their minds to pay Nigerians a starvation wage.
“We seek for a Living Wage and it is only when we work together as comrades that we can achieve this.
“Comrades remember, when we stand alone, our chances are slim but when we stand together, we are able to achieve our collective interests,” he said.
The NLC president, however, said there was the need to collectively restrategise politically to avoid the mistakes made since 1999.
He said there was the need to deepen vigilance inorder to understand the nexus between workplace complexities and diverse manifestations of class exploitations and subjugation in the wider society.
“How can we change our nation if we remain deeply divided unfortunately believing in the narrative and propaganda manufactured by our oppressors?
“How can we change our nation if we do not speak with one voice and act with one purpose as a group that are holding the wrong end of stick at all times?
“I ask why have we found it difficult to work together under one political umbrella to project our ideals, build it and use it to creatively take over the reins of power in our nation?
“This celebration offers us the singular opportunity to rethink our political strategy as a class and make it more practical to avoid the mistakes we have made since 1999,” he said.
According to Ajaero, I therefore ask today, are there men and women here who are willing to tread the same path Lenin followed?
” Are there comrades here who are not workers in the classical sense but understand that our interests are the same.
“Have they made up their minds to join the struggle for a better Nigeria which must begin by enthroning equity in our world of work?
“In the spirit of Leninism, I invite you to join us. In remembrance of this great framework, I invite all men and women who are prepared to be beaten for the sake of workers and the poor among others ” he said.
He said that the celebration would be in vain if all do not arise and resolve to work together, determined and make a difference in the nation .
Ajaero also called for meaningful contributions that would help in creating a more just and equitable world.