The Nigeria Labour NLC on Friday, rose from its emergency Central Working Committeee meeting CWC, with the resolution to engage the National Assembly over the 27,000 naira national minimum wage transmitted to it by the Presidency on Wednesday.
Speaking to Voice of Nigeria after the meeting, NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, said the decision was one of the strategies organized labour intends to use to ensure that government respects and implements the 30, 000 naira national minimum wage agreed by the Tripartite Committee set up by it.
He said that all its structures at both the State and Federal levels have been put on notice to mobilise their members for industrial action should the planned engagement with the National Assembly fail to yield the desired result.
On Tuesday, a meeting the National Council of State, approved 27,000 Naira as the new national minimum wage for Nigerian workers against the negotiated 30,000 naira submitted to the federal government by the Tripartite Committee set up by the government.
Wabba said the CWC rejected the N27,000 minimum wage approved by the Council of State and is ready to engage the National Assembly on Monday on the N30,000 as agreed by the Tripartite Committee.
According to Wabba, the meeting reviewed the whole situation including the fact that N30,000 was agreed at the tripartite negotiating meeting to be the minimum wage.
It was out of place and procedure for that figure to be reduced to N27,000. Going by the convention of the International Labour Organisation ILO, the figure that was agreed by the tripartite committee cannot be changed by any of the parties except through a process.
Government as an employer cannot unilaterally change the figure. This is about law and procedure.
Therefore, the CWC has frowned on that and rejected the issue of reducing the figure. We still maintain that we stand on the outcome of the tripartite committee.
We will mobilse our members and engage the National Assembly on the issue. The negotiation must be respected and NASS should do the needful. We have put our members on the alert that if that is not done.
Certainly we will also mobilise to take appropriate action that is desirable to protect and ensure that the tripartite process be respected, he said.
He noted that this has been the process according to the provision of ILO convention on minimum wage mechanism.
The CWC has agreed that on Monday, the Congress would mobilise to the House of Representatives during the public hearing on the bill to make ensure that the right thing was done.
Wabba added that the NASS members represent the people and we call on them to respect the outcome of the tripartite process.
Importantly, when you look at N30,000, it s a compromised position in the context of today’s economy of Nigeria. We should be commended.
As far back as 2011, the N18,000 minimum wage was equivalent to $150, today, the N30,000 is less than $100.
We juxtapose this argument within the content of reality and demand that what was mutually agreed after all other factors have been put into consideration, including the ability to pay, must be respected, Wabba insisted.
The NLC President also promised that the NLC will come out with an official statement on its position for Nigerians and the world to know.
Source: Voice of Nigeria