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Friday, 16 November 2018

Sack Threat, Invitation To Anarchy – Labour

Organised Labour, yesterday, told the Nigerian Governors Forum, NGF, that the threat to retrench workers should the new minimum wage of N30,000 agreed upon by the Tripartite Committee be implemented, was an invitation to anarchy with grievous consequences. It also noted that the governors’ threat to sack workers was not new in the struggle for review of the national minimum wage in Nigeria and that the N30,000 was a product of intense and robust negotiations at the National Minimum Wage Tripartite Negotiation Committee that lasted for one year, from November 2017 to November 2018. 

In the same vein, the Nigerian Employers Consultative Association, NECA, warned governors on the issue of down-sizing. “They should think of the consequences of retrenchment of workers, especially in a country with a very high rate of unemployment.” President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Ayuba Wabba, in a statement in Abuja, told workers to ignore the statement credited to the Chairman of NGF and Zamfara State governor, Abdulaziz Yari, who, while briefing journalists after an emergency meeting of the governors on Wednesday, claimed that the N30,000 minimum wage would make states bankrupt. 

Governor Yari had also stated that only Lagos State could afford the new wage regime if implemented, and that state governors were finding it difficult to pay the N18,000 already in force. But Wabba in his statement, took a swipe at the NGF boss, stressing that the governors were part of the negotiation that lasted for about a year before arriving at a compromise figure of N30,000. 

The statement read: “The attention of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Organized Labour, the working class, pensioners and their families have been drawn to a statement credited to the chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum, NGF, Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari, the governor of Zamfara State, threatening to sack workers on the account of the New National Minimum Wage of N30,000. “It would interest Nigerians to know that the New National Minimum Wage of N30,000 was a product of intense and robust negotiations at the National Minimum Wage Tripartite Negotiation Committee that lasted for one year between November 2017 and November 2018. “At the National Minimum Wage Tripartite Negotiation Committee, state governments were represented by six states, one from each of the six geo-political zones of Nigeria. A letter was sent by the Tripartite Committee to every state to send in their memorandum as their input to the national minimum wage negotiations. It is on record that 21 states responded by sending memoranda with figures. “Subsequently, public hearings were conducted in each of the geo-political zones in the country. The state governments were all represented at the zonal hearings and made their input to discussions towards a new national minimum wage. “The demand of organized labour was N66,500. From the memoranda submitted to the National Minimum Wage Tripartite Negotiation Committee by state governments, there were proposals by some states to even pay higher than the negotiated national minimum wage of N30,000. “After extended and extensive negotiations by the Tripartite Committee, a final compromise figure of N30,000 was agreed by all the partners – government, Organized Labour and employers in the private sector. “This agreement took on board prevailing economic indices and factors, especially as outlined in Convention 131 and Recommendation 95 of the International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention on Criteria and Procedure for Collective Bargaining especially towards arriving at a National Minimum Wage for any country. 

Vanguard

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