MINIMUM WAGE: Labour Lists Affected States, Plans Protest

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Negotiations on the N30,000 minimum wage, which were suspended in some states in the wake of COVID-19  outbreak in March,  would resume this week.

Total News24 gathered on Monday that workers in no fewer than eight states had yet to be paid the minimum wage nine months after the deadline the Nigeria Labour Congress gave state governments.

Report had it that Osun, Kwara, Ekiti, Imo, Gombe, Kogi, Zamfara and Ebonyi state governments had not started the minimum wage implementation.

Findings indicated in states, where minimum wage negotiations had been concluded,  workers were demanding fresh talks in view of the hikes in the fuel price and electricity tariff.

The Trade Union Congress said together with the  NLC it would stage street protests in states where implementation of the minimum wage had not started.

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It said such protests were held in Rivers and Ogun states, a few days ago, adding that workers would storm Imo State soon for the minimum wage protests.

Although the new minimum wage bill was signed by the President Muhammadu Buhari  into law on April 18, 2019,  both labour and the Federal Government did not agree on consequential adjustment of workers’ salaries until October 17, 2019.

In October, the Federal Government and the NLC agreed on 23.2 percentage increase for workers at grade level 07; 20 per cent for those at grade level 08; 19 per cent for workers at grade level 09; 16 per cent for those on levels 10 to 14; and 14 per cent for workers at grade levels 15 to 17.

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In a communiqué issued after its meeting on December 11, 2019, the NLC gave state governments a  December 31 deadline to conclude negotiations on the minimum wage.

It was learnt that the fuel price hike had brought to the fore the issue of minimum wage in states, where it had not been implemented.

In Osun State, the Chairman of the NLC, Jacob Adekomi, told one of our correspondents that labour leaders and the state government would resume minimum wage negotiations on Thursday.

According to him, the state Governor, Gboyega Oyetola, during a meeting on Sunday told the labour leaders to work out the financial implications of their demands and submit them to the state government.

Adekomi explained that in  December,   a committee consisting of government and Labour representatives was set up.

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He stated, “Recently, we met with the commissioner for finance and Mr Governor on the need to go back to the negotiation table and finalise the agreement we reached before. But with what is on the ground now, we have to start all over again because of the hikes in electricity tariff and petroleum price.

In  Kogi State, the NLC   Chairman, Onu Edoka in a chat with one of our correspondents on the telephone, said negotiations would resume on this week.

Edoka said activities of a 17-man negotiating committee set up by the state government were stalled because of COVID-19 pandemic in March.

 

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