Minimum Wage: Labour Congress plans street protest in offending states

Negotiations on the N30,000 minimum wage, which were suspended in some states in the wake of COVID-19  outbreak in March,  would resume this week.

It was gathered on Monday that workers in no fewer than eight states had yet to be paid the minimum wage nine months after the deadline the Nigeria Labour Congress gave state governments.

Labour leaders told journalists that Osun, Kwara, Ekiti, Imo, Gombe, Kogi, Zamfara and Ebonyi state governments had not started the minimum wage implementation.

Findings indicated in states, where minimum wage negotiations had been concluded,  workers were demanding fresh talks in view of the hikes in the fuel price and electricity tariff.

The Trade Union Congress said together with the  NLC it would stage street protests in states where implementation of the minimum wage had not started.

It said such protests were held in Rivers and Ogun states, a few days ago, adding that workers would storm Imo State soon for the minimum wage protests.

Although the new minimum wage bill was signed by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.),   into law on April 18, 2019,  both labour and the Federal Government did not agree on consequential adjustment of workers’ salaries until October 17, 2019.

In October, the Federal Government and the NLC agreed on 23.2 percentage increase for workers at grade level 07; 20 per cent for those at grade level 08; 19 per cent for workers at grade level 09; 16 per cent for those on levels 10 to 14; and 14 per cent for workers at grade levels 15 to 17.

In a communiqué issued after its meeting on December 11, 2019, the NLC gave state governments a  December 31 deadline to conclude negotiations on the minimum wage.

It was learnt that the fuel price hike had brought to the fore the issue of minimum wage in states, where it had not been implemented.

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