Monday, May 20, 2019
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MINIMUM WAGE: Organized Labour issues ultimatum to FG

Organized Labour

The organized Labour, on Thursday, has given the Federal Government, a December 31st ultimatum to transmit the tripartite committee report on N30,000 minimum wage to the National Assembly.

The organized Labour, comprising the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TLC) and the United Labour Congress (ULC) made this decision known after a joint meeting in Lagos.

The ultimatum follows President Muhammadu Buhari’s statement during the 2019 budget presentation to the National Assembly, where he said that “a high powered technical committee” would be set up to fashion out strategies to ensure that the implementation of the minimum wage does not lead to an increase in the level of borrowing.

The NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, speaking to journalists after the meeting, opined that the set-up of the technical committee should not be a pre-condition for sending the minimum wage report to the National Assembly.

According to Mr. Ayuba Wabba, the organized labour will not be able to guarantee industrial peace and harmony in the country if the wage report was not transmitted to the National Assembly for implementation on or before December 31.

Organized Labour

“We reject in its entirety the plan to set up another `high powered technical committee’ on the minimum wage. It is diversionary and a delay tactics.

“The national minimum wage committee was both technical and all-encompassing in its compositions and plan to set up a technical committee is alien to the tripartite process.

“It is also alien to the International Labour Organisations’ conventions on national minimum wage setting mechanism,’’ the NLC President said.

He added that issues bordering on the payment of minimum wage was a law that was universal, citing that other African countries including Kenya, Ghana and South Africa had increased their minimum wage this year.

“If you increase minimum wage, you are increasing the purchasing power of the economy which will help to reduce inflation rather than increase it,’’ Mr Wabba said.

He encouraged workers to be vigilant and prepare to campaign and vote against candidates and politicians who are not willing to implement the new minimum wage.

Joe Ajaero, President of the ULC, also called on the Federal Government to immediately transmit the report to lawmakers so that the implementation of the new minimum wage report would begin without delay.

Mr Ajaero added that all affiliate members of the organized labour had been informed to be alert ahead of the December 31 notice if the government failed to submit the report.

Recall that the labour unions had earlier resolved to go on a nationwide strike on November 6, 2018, following the Federal Government’s initial delay to accept the N30,000 minimum wage agreement.

 

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