Comrade Ayuba Wabba, President, National Labour Congress (NLC), has urged Federal Government to respect the principles of International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the rights of workers in order to have peaceful industrial relations.
Wabba said that if the government does not respect such principles, the peaceful industrial relations would continue to elude the country.
The NLC president spoke at the Anniversary Lecture with the topic, “Industrial Relations in Nigeria Today: Challenges and Prospects,” organised by the Medical and Health Workers’ Union of Nigeria, in Abuja.
He said that the ILO declaration of 1918 was about social justice, implying that workers are not slaves.
Wabba said, “Workers work to earn a leaving and therefore, there must be social contract and social relationship that must be respected by all parties.
“Even in the best economy, workers do go on strike to drive home their points. As we speak, workers in France are protesting and demanding for fairness and justice. This is the trend and tradition around the world. If we sit down and wish, we would have a peaceful industrial relations without respecting the fundamental principles of ILO, then we are not yet there.”
He added that if we must make progress, the government needs to continue to take the totality of workers as partners in progress, as creators of wealth and not a liability or as minority as presumed by some elites.
He further stated that in many other part of the world the Principle of social justice must be respected especially in the healthcare adding, “Healthcare delivery is the right of every citizen, a fundamental human right, the right to life. Security, welfare and health of the people are very fundamental. Among this principles and rights, health is the most important one.”
He said that many people had wealth but don’t have the health to enjoy it.
He however noted that the key parameters to measure development in the whole world is health indices such as maternal and infants mortality.
He however said that accountability, transparency and respect to the rule of law with collective bargain, there would be a very peaceful industrial relations.
Wabba lamented that they want to imbibed the doctrines of divided and rule, that one group is more important than the other which is not so in other places is the global best practice that is in place.
“What is applicable in global best practices is to put in time of productivity to determine what your enumeration is. When you go to hospitals in the United States, when your clock is used to access your job evaluation that is why nurses earn more but in our case they said once you are from this profession you must earn this salary that is injustice.
“We must look at the best global practices to make justice available to all,” he added.
Earlier, Prof. Isaac Adewole, Minister of Health, said the organisation is an idea one manifesting the aspirations in the health sector.
“The topic is apt considering the frequent disharmony in the health sector which has exposed the citizenry to exploitation by private hospital owners and quacks.
He added that dialogue was needed to enjoy the dividends of democracy and called on the union to maintain the legacy of unity.