Labour leaders have rejected Federal Government’s plan to set up another high-powered technical committee on the new national minimum wage.
The leaders of the union, comprising the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the United Labour Congress (ULC), stated this in a communiqué jointly signed and issued at the end of national leadership meeting of organised labour in Nigeria held in Lagos yesterday. According to the labour leaders, the government’s plan is diversionary and a delay tactics.
They said almost two months after the submission of the report by the national minimum wage tripartite committee, which included a draft bill, no bill has been submitted to the National Assembly for passage into law.
NLC President Ayuba Wabba said: “As far as we are concerned, all the issue has been addressed by the tripartite committee. This one is a delay tactic by the Federal Government and it will not work.
ULC President Joe Ajaero said it was not the duty of the Federal Government to know how the states or private sector would implement the minimum wage.
“Federal Government should allow the labour union in each state to discuss with their respective state government on how to start the implementation”, Ajaero said.
The labour leaders explained that Federal Government is expected to transmit the new national minimum wage bill to the National Assembly on or before December 31, 2018.
They noted that the Federal Government is planning to set up a high-powered technical committee, which is alien to the tripartite process and International Labor Organisation (ILO) convention on national minimum wage mechanism.
They urged workers to be vigilant and prepared to campaign and vote against candidates and political parties, who were not supportive of the implementations of the new minimum wage.
As for the TUC President, Bobboi Kaigama, he said if government fails to transmit the bill to the National Assembly for implementation on or before December 31, labour will re-open the suspended strike.
“Organised Labour will not guarantee industrial peace and harmony, if after December 31 2018, the draft bill is not transmitted to the National Assembly,” he said.