The Nigeria Labour Congress has rejected the N22, 500 minimum wage recommended by the Nigeria Governors Forum, adding that an indefinite strike shall commence on November 6, 2018.
The President of the NLC, Ayuba Wabba, said this at a press conference in Abuja on Wednesday.
The NLC President said the NGF was unknown to law and thus had no right to make such a decision.
Wabba said, “Our attention has been drawn to a communiqué issued by the NGF after its meeting on October 30, 2018, claiming that governors can only pay N22, 500 as the new national minimum wage.
“First, we wish to state that the forum is not a negotiating body but merely a political organisation for the convenience of state governors.
“The tripartite committee from inception sent letters to each state government to send in their memoranda as their contributions to the new national minimum wage negotiating process. 21 states sent in their memorandum quoting figures.”
The NLC President noted that the initial demand of the union was N66, 500 and not N30,000.
He added that it was after negotiations that the organised labour decided to accept N30,000.
Wabba said if the government insisted on N22,500, the NLC would have no choice but to revert to its initial demand of N66,500.
He added, “The demand of organised labour is not N30, 000. Our demand is N66, 500. N30,000 is the compromise figure arrived at the end of negotiations by the tripartite partners – government, employers and organised labour. The new minimum wage was a product of intense negotiations that lasted for almost one year.
“The governors had six representatives on the Tripartite Committee – one state governor represented each of the geo-political zones. The representatives of the state governors were part and parcel of the work of the negotiating committee from beginning to the end.
“It is important to note that the national minimum wage is not an allocation to workers. It is a product of negotiation by the tripartite partners. The unilateral pronouncement by governors of N22, 500 minimum wage is an abuse of every known principle of industrial relations, labour laws, processes and international best practices.”
Wabba agreed with the NGF that only five per cent of Nigerians were salary workers.
He, however, urged governors to remember that salary workers were the biggest taxpayers whose services were critical to the development of the nation.
The NLC President added, “Our demand is that the constitutional, legal and morally right step to take at this point is for the Chairman of the National Minimum Wage Tripartite Negotiating Committee to submit the report of the already concluded national minimum wage negotiations to Mr President for transmission to the National Assembly for consideration and passage into law.
“We wish to reiterate our position adopted at our National Executive Council meeting of October 23, 2018, that any figure below N30, 000 will not be accepted by us.”
“We call on our members to continue to mobilise in preparation for the commencement of an indefinite strike on November 6, 2018, if by then necessary steps have not been taken to adopt the recommendations of the tripartite committee.”
Minimum wage: Osinbajo, economic teams meet again
Members of the Economic Management Team again on Wednesday met at the Presidential Villa, Abuja over the new national minimum wage.
That was the second time they would be meeting on the matter this week, having met earlier on Monday on the same issue.
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo presided over the meeting that was held shortly after the weekly meeting of the Federal Executive Council.
Those who attended did not speak with State House correspondents at the end of the meeting.
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The Presidency has yet to issue a statement on the meeting as of the time of filing this report.
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