The National Union of Textile Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria held a peaceful protest in Lagos on Tuesday to mark the 40th anniversary of the organisation.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Imo State Council, has charged the in-coming administration in the state to immediately implement the payment of N30,000 minimum wage as soon as it becomes effective.

Comrade Austin Chilakpu, the NLC State Chairman, gave the charge at the 12th Quadrennial State Delegates Conference of the congress held at its secretariat, New Owerri.

He said the N30,000 minimum wage was not a living wage as it could not carry an average family of six for a week.

He said that for the committed and dedicated Imo workers, the increase in the minimum wage was urgently needed to ensure a manageable wage that could take care of the basic needs of workers.

The conference had the theme, ‘Towards a Decade of Activism for the Promotion of Labour Unity, National Re-birth and Development.’

Meanwhile, the Imo NLC had elected a new executive to man its affairs in the next four years, with Comrade Austin Chilakpu returning as chairman, while the position of secretary went to Comrade Ken Onwuemeodo. Both emerged unopposed.

Comrades Philip Nwansi, George Ofoegbu, Livinus Nwulu were elected as vice chairmen, while Nze Francis Nwata emerged as the treasurer of the congress.

Other 10 executive members also emerged unopposed in an election that was attended by the NLC affiliate unions in the state.

Chilakpu, in his acceptance speech, said the NLC had articulated problems of labour in the state, including those of the pensioners and had submitted same to the Imo State governor-elect, Chief Emeka Ihedioha.

Chilakpu said he was among the technical team set up by Ihedioha and would ensure that the blueprint on the welfare of workers was implemented to the letter.

He thanked the union members for their support and encouragement in his last tenure, even as he urged them not to relent, but continue to render their unalloyed support to the present administration.

Governor Rochas Okorocha, who was represented by Blessing Nwanmerenini, Commissioner for Labour and Poverty Alleviation, charged the union members on peace and stability in the state.

Mrs Lauretta Adogu, State Controller of Labour, who represented Dr Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Productivity, commended the leadership of the state NLC on the cordial relationship existing between the ministry in the state and the congress, urging them to continue to project the image of labour.

Comrade Ayuba Wabba, the NLC president, regretted that most governors still owed salaries, pensions and gratuity, saying the congress would continue to rise up to the ill treatment being meted to workers.

Wabba, represented by John Adaji, President, Nigeria Textile Union, and Returning Officer for the NLC state election, noted that the upward review of salary was the right for workers and called on employers to commence immediate payment of the new national minimum wage.

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