NLC, TUC to ‘pursue full implementation of minimum wage’

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The implementation of the new national minimum wage and its consequential adjustment in salaries of workers will be pursued nationwide this year, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) said on Tuesday.

NLC President Ayuba Wabba and his TUC counterpart Quadri Olaleye gave the assurance in their New Year messages.

They organised Labour would also focus on campaign for massive employment generation and decent jobs and a robust engagement for the promotion of the rule of law and sanctity of Nigeria’s public institutions.

Other areas of focus for the NLC include: increased partnership with and support for the Federal Government’s anti-corruption fight, promotion of national security, peace and unity, good governance and respect for the rights and dignity of pensioners.

Wabba noted that no excuse will be good enough for failure to pay the new wage by state governors who are yet to implement it.

According to him, the union has directed its state councils to be on the standby to robustly engage state governments that fail to obey the new wage law.

The statement said: “As earlier noted, since April 18, 2019 when President Muhammadu Buhari signed the new national minimum wage of N30, 000 into law, some states have already commenced implementation.

“We commend the states already paying the new national minimum wage and consequential adjustment in salaries for assuming the pacesetter status.

“We use this medium to implore states that are yet to implement the new national minimum wage including the states that are 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 in Nigeria will not guarantee industrial harmony in states that fail to implement the new national minimum wage by December 31, 2019. We direct our state councils to be on the standby to robustly engage state governments that fail to obey our laws.

“We wish to remind governors that no excuse would be good enough for failure to pay. The ongoing revelations on the monumental looting perpetrated by former governors prove that only an intent to loot, and deadened conscience not availability of resources would be the reason any Governor would hesitate to pay workers the N30,000 new national minimum wage and the consequential adjustment in salaries. The new national minimum wage is now a law and State Governors do not have the luxury whether to pay or not.”

The TUC listed new minimum wage implementation, Nigerian rising debt profile, rule of law, job creation and insecurity as its areas of focus in the New Year.

Other areas of focus for the TUC include: fuel subsidy, cost of governance, democratic gains, free and fair election, and others.

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