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Labour to prioritise implementation of minimum wage in 2020

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The conclusion of the consequential adjustment of the national minimum wage and its subsequent implementation of minimum wage at the state level will form the fulcrum of labour movement’s priority this year.

In its New Year message in Abuja yesterday, President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba, said labour would pursue implementation of the minimum wage at the state level with dedication.

While urging recalcitrant states to begin the process in earnest, NLC stated that it will be unable to guarantee industrial harmony in such states adding, “We implore states yet to implement the new national minimum wage and those yet to begin negotiation with labour on the consequential wage adjustment to speedily do the needful.

“In tandem with our position as adopted and communicated after a stakeholders’ meeting on December 11, 2019, organised labour will not guarantee industrial harmony in states that fail to implement the new national minimum wage by December 31, 2019.”

The NLC subsequently directed its state councils to prepare to engage state governments that fail to obey the laws and cautioned governors against excuses for not paying the new wage and consequential adjustment, which are products of negotiation.

It also cited cases of massive looting by some former governors, which underlines the fact that there were enough resources to pay workers’ salaries if corruption was reduced to the barest minimum.

The new national minimum wage of N30, 000 is now a law and governors do not have the luxury to choose whether to pay or not, adding that it would mount a robust campaign for employment generation and for the sustenance of decent jobs.

NLC expressed concerns over the plan to renovate the National Assembly with N37b, arguing that given the country’s development deficit and level of poverty, the proposed renovation was a misplaced priority.

Besides, the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has congratulated Nigerians for their bravery, resilience, and loyalty to the country in spite of the economic challenges the country faced in 2019.

TUC President, Quadri Olaleye, gave the commendation yesterday in a statement as part of his New Year goodwill message.

He said, “Evaluating organised labour’s activities in the last year, you will agree that it has been a rough path. There were many industrial issues but we swallowed many bitter pills to save our ailing economy.

“First among other issues were minimum wage and its consequential adjustment; unbridled sack of workers without redundancy negotiation; breach of collective agreement and casualisation, among others.”

Olaleye, therefore, urged the Federal Government to diversify the economy, reduce the cost of running government and execute projects that would impact positively on Nigerians.

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