Labour tackles Minister on distorted new minimum wage, threatens another nationwide strike
The leadership of the three labour centres in the country on Wednesday urged President Muhammadu Buhari to take immediate necessary steps to ensure the enactment of the new national minimum wage.
This was contained in a statement titled: The tripartite committee on the national minimum wage has concluded its work’, jointly issued by Ayuba Wabba, President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Bobboi Kaigama, President, Trade Union Congress (TUC) and Joe Ajaero, President, United Labour Congress (ULC), dated 10th October, 2018.
Chris Ngige who spoke with State House Correspondents after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting held at the Villa, confirmed that organised labour had stuck to N30,000 but that the Federal Government agreed to pay only N24,000 while organised private sector and State Governments proposed N25,000 and N20,000 respectively.
The labour leaders, who dismissed the Minister’s statement, however warned that organized labour cannot guarantee industrial peace and harmony if Federal Government resolves to do otherwise.
The organized labour’s position came on the heel of statement credited to Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment who alleged that the negotiation has not been concluded, adding that the parties have not reached accord on the acceptable amount.
“Our attention has been drawn to a statement credited to the Honorable Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige claiming that no amount has been agreed by the tripartite committee as recommendation to government.
“The report further claimed that the minister said that government was still negotiating with labour.
“It is rather unfortunate and sad if, indeed, the Honourable Minister made those statements. For the avoidance of doubt, organised labour representatives wish to state unequivocally that the tripartite committee concluded its work, adopted a figure through a formal motion moved.
“This was after a thorough debate of a report from the sub-committee figure, chaired by Senator Ngige himself, which presented four scenarios for consideration.
“The sub-committee worked on the basis of a figure proposed by the Federal Government, figures proposed by a number of state governments as well as proposals submitted by the organized private sector and organized labour.
“The committee formally adjourned its sitting with a decision that a date will be communicated to members for the signing of the report ad submission of same to Mr. President.
“Organised labour, therefore, frowns at the manipulation and bending of facts in an attempt to delay or derail the processes needed to promulgate a new national minimum wage.
“We call on the government to take immediate necessary steps to ensure the enactment of a new national minimum wage as we cannot guarantee industrial peace and harmony,” the statement obtained by BusinessDay read.
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