Why implementation may be delayed in Enugu – NLC
The Trade Union Congress (TUC) has given states yet to commence implementation of the N30,000 Minimum Wage January 31 deadline to comply or would be shut down without notice.
Addressing the media after its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Lagos, President of TUC, Quadri Olaleye, yesterday, warned that the Congress will no longer guarantee industrial peace and harmony in states which are yet to commence the implementation of N30,000 New Minimum Wage/ consequential adjustments by January 31.
He said the union has directed all states to start mobilisation, saying that the governors and their supporters will be held responsible for whatever happen after 31of January.
“The Congress advises all state governments who have not complied with the implementation and immediate payment of the N30, 000.00 new National Minimum Wage to commence negotiations and implementation on or before 31st January, 2020, otherwise the state government should be responsible for the consequences of their failure.
“State Councils have been directed to commence mobilisation of their members immediately.”
Olaleye said the report from states at the meeting showed that only six states have signed and commenced implementation, while 15 states were in the process of negotiation.
“We want to assure them this is not an empty threat. Labour will shut down any states that have not yet started the implementation or negotiation.”
He stated that it was an insubordination on the part of any state government not to have commenced payment by December 31.
“It’s an insubordination for the governors to flout the President’s order on the implementation of the new Minimum Wage. The President had said that all the federal and all states should have commenced the implementation of N30,00 Minimum Wage by 31st December, 2019. So if there’s still any state yet to commence payment that is clear insubordination and we will not hesitate to shut such state. This is not an empty threat, neither are we going back on our decision.”
On the spate of insecurity in the country, Olaleye called on the Federal Government to intensify more practical efforts towards wiping out killings, kidnapping and insurgency to save the country from total collapse.
He said states and region should be supported and encourage on the security.
He said labour has also resolves to participate in a global rally against war slated for January 25, 2020
This according to him, is in view of the vulnerability of workers in war period.
The union also condemned all forms of casualisation and slave labour in Nigeria.
Olaleye said the Congress will in the year engage any employer that violates the right of Nigerian Workers to unionize and have permanent employment.
“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.
However, Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Enugu, Mr Virginus Nwobodo, said the implementation of the new minimum wage in the state may take a little longer.
The labour leader said the delay might be caused by the non-existence of a wage template in the state, as the old N18,000 minimum wage was not well implemented by the state government.
He, therefore, appealed to workers in the state civil service to be patient, as labour would not rush into the issue as was happening in other states where some figures were already being banded.
“We have a peculiar situation in Enugu; there is no standard wage template for the state workers, in line with the N18,000 minimum wage, because the state government did not holistically implement it.
“What the government did then was to give financial awards according to cadres. There was no percentage increase or consequential adjustment,” he said.
Nwobodo said the issue had affected the implementation of the current N30,000 minimum wage, as the technical committee of the Joint Negotiating Council (JNC) in the state had much to do.
“The technical committee is already working. It will do a serious job to come up with a standard wage chart before we now begin to talk about consequential adjustment across grade levels. The moment it is through with the task, it will call on the larger JNC, which will either accept or reject what it would have done.”
He said the committee would work in line with the current economic realities, relying on the wage template negotiated at the federal level. The committee, in order to make its work easier, will assess documents from the federal level and, based on some factors, come up with a wage chart across the sectors,” Nwobodo said.