The Vice President of Nigerian Labour Congress, Issa Aremu, on Thursday said the Union was going to lend its voice for the release of over 200 girls abducted by the Boko Haram sect in Chibok, Borno State on April 16.
?Our heart is with 200 chibok students who have been criminally abducted by unknown forces,? he said, noting that the girls should not be reduced to mere statistics as they are potential workers, nurses, doctors, who have been denied education and freedom.
?We are going to devote today largely to add our voice to the forces of peace, above all women who have come out in their large numbers to demand for the release of these students and compel the government to be on duty to guarantee security,? he said.
Aremu, who was speaking at a breakfast programme Sunrise, described the girls as potential workers who had been denied their education and freedom.
Workers under the NLC and TUC would stage rallies in different States including the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja as they mark the 2014 Workers? Day celebration themed ?Building Sustainable Peace and Unity for Sustainable National Development.?
Aremu stressed the need for peace and security as workers had become ?endangered species? as a result of the nation?s security challenges, which have forced some companies to fold up, reduce working hours and also reduce their work force.
?Our country hitherto known for peace and tranquility is now being known for violence? he said, maintaining that ?peace has to be rooted in social service.?
Speaking on the plight of Nigerian workers in recent times, Aremu cited the Nyanya bomb blast; maintaining that the Boko Haram sect targeted workers as most of the victims were workers.
He stressed that ?more than ever before, the issue of peace cannot be left alone to the government. We are also committed to that.?
While commending some achievements made by the Congress, Aremu stated that there were other demands being made including job-led growth, decent and well paid jobs with minimum wage guaranteed and the right for collective bargaining, pensionable jobs and a sustainable pension reform.
?We have just rebased the GDP of Nigeria; we are excited that Nigeria is now ahead of South Africa but you also know that this GDP as big as it is (about five billion Naira) it has not translated to real job creation for our people.?
?Labour creates wealth but labour must also be part of sharing this wealth,? he said, noting that ?it was time for proper income distribution,? he added.


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