Workers Day: Oshiomole Urges Employers to Refrain From Laying off Staff

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SWITZERLAND, MAY 01 – The coronavirus pandemic has imposed undue economic stress on the majority of business outlets in Nigeria. In a bid to minimize overhead costs and maintain profitability, employers of labour have resorted to the abrupt termination of employees.

However, the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Chairman and former Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomole on Thursday urged employers to refrain from laying off their staff.

“This crisis will surely bring to the fore its burdens. Employers should be compassionate enough not to shift the burdens exclusively on the workers. Dispensing with labor should not be the first option as organizations re-strategize their way out of the crisis,” he said.

Addressing Nigerian workers on the occasion of Worker’s Day 2020, he implored employers in the private sector to imbibe the spirit of social responsibility.

He also expressed his disapprobation over state governments slashing workers’ salaries to contain the economic impact of the Coronavirus pandemic. Rather, state governments should first consider the welfare of their workers this period before embarking on policies that will be disadvantageous to indigents.

The inflationary crisis in the country already diminishes the value of the recently approved N30, 000 minimum wage. Cutting salaries reduces the disposable income of workers and ultimately shrinks their effective demand for basic commodities. The resultant effect is a vicious poverty circle.

“For instance, cutting wages is most unhelpful in the circumstance. It’s like asking an anaemic patient to donate blood to save the lives of other patients in need of blood transfusion.

“A doctor who does that should have his licence withdrawn. So, a policy adviser who recommends wage cut is abysmally unconscious of the mood of the present which is that of compassion and solidarity”.

Reducing a worker’s already meagre earnings further limits his ability to contribute actively to the economy. State governments should not inflict workers with an inordinate share of the burden.

Oshiomole believes that the present administration is fully cognizant of the strong link between social and physical security. He further admonished state governments to incorporate social welfare in their respective development agendas as exemplified by the Federal Government.

“Rather than cut wages or retrench, state governments should do away with avoidable overheads to reduce the cost of governance.” He said

“In any case, the imperative of overall national planning for an inclusive and sustainable development makes this proposition an imperative”.

The APC chairman appears to have an unshakable faith in the current administration, commending President Buhari for being a pacesetter of multi-dimensional change in Nigeria.

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