Nigeria: Minimum Wage - Labour Union Issues New Deadline to State Governors

The Trade Union Congress has asked all states governments that have not complied with the implementation of the N30,000 new National Minimum Wage to do so before January 31 to prevent industrial action.

In a communique sent to PREMIUM TIMES on Thursday evening after a National Executive Meeting (NEC) in Lagos, the president of TUC, Quadri Olaleye, said the union has directed all states to start mobilisation for strike ahead of January 31.

“As at now and by our record, only six states have signed and commenced implementation, 15 states are in the process of negotiation, while the rest are yet to commence negotiation. We want to assure them this is not an empty threat. Labour will shut down any state that has not yet started the implementation or negotiation,” the Nation newspaper quoted Mr Olaleye as saying after the NEC meeting.

Speaking on the insecurity in the country, Mr Olaleye called on the Federal Government to intensify “practical efforts towards wiping out killings, kidnapping and insurgency”.

He said the congress had resolved to participate in ”a global rally against war” slated for January 25.

He also said the union also condemned all forms of casualisation and ”slave labour” in Nigeria.

“The Government is hereby advised to extend Local Content Policy as applied in the oil sector to be applicable to other sectors of the economy,” he said.

Industrial peace

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), had also in a communiqué issued at the end of its meeting with the state council chairmen on December 12, said it would not be able to guarantee industrial peace and harmony in states that failed to conclude negotiations and begin payment of the new minimum wage by December 31.

The new wage structure was signed into law by the p resident , Muhammadu Buhari, on April 18, 2019, while both the Federal Government and labour unions agreed on consequential adjustments on October 18, 2019, after negotiations.

After the agreement  between the FG and labour, negotiations shifted to states, with the NLC directing its state leaders to commence negotiations with their governors.

However, the unions had said negotiations must be completed on December 31, 2019, which was not done.

Currently, no fewer than 15 states are yet to conclude negotiations on the N30,000 new minimum wage two days after the expiration of the initial deadline.

States like Ekiti, Cross River, Benue, Gombe, Osun, Sokoto, Oyo, Niger, Ogun, Enugu, Bayelsa, Rivers, Kwara, Taraba and Anambra are yet to agree on the consequential adjustments of salaries as a result of the new minimum wage.

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