Backdate minimum wage payment by five months, Labour urges FG
By Gambo Jagindi
Organised labour on Monday demanded that the implementation of the N30,000 national minimum wage should start from April 18 2019 — the day it was signed into law by President Mohammadu Buhari.
They said the request was to prevent “another avoidable round of agitation.”
They also commended stakeholders who participated in the just-concluded negotiation on consequential adjustment arising from the monthly new national minimum wage.
The acting chairman of the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council (Trade Union Side), Simon Anchaver; and Secretary, Alade Lawal, made the demand in a statement sent to Alutanews in Abuja.
Labour expressed hope that all sides in the just-concluded negotiation had learnt a few lessons that would enable them avoid similar mistakes in future, including attempts by some “fifth columnists” in government to derail collective bargaining process.
According to them, representatives of government and organised labour “exerted so much energy, dedication and intellect during the prolonged negotiation on consequential adjustment before reaching Agreement acceptable to both parties.”
The statement reads, “It is necessary to commend millions of workers at the Federal and 36 States Public Services for their patience, understanding, and for the confidence they reposed in the leadership of the TUS of the JNPSNC to carry out the negotiation to its logical conclusion.
“We are also glad that government has taken note of the need for a general salary review in the Public Service. We are looking forward to this review and we hope that the Federal Government will keep to its promise which was made during the negotiation of consequent adjustment.
“We also wish to advise that since the 2019 national minimum wage was signed into law by Mr. President on April 18 2019, the implementation should start from that date so as not to trigger off another avoidable round of agitation by Public Service employees and their trade unions.
“We also wish to put on record the marvelous role played by the leadership of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria and that of the Nigeria Labour Congress in ensuring a successful negotiation.
“The TUS equally hailed the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, for properly managing the trade dispute when the government side tried to derail the negotiation leading to marathon meetings in his office before agreement could be reached.
“We are particularly glad that the Honourable Labour Minister has urged all employers covered by the 2019 national minimum wage Act to commence payment failing which the trade unions should declare trade disputes against such employers at the Ministry or drag them to the National Industrial Court.”
The TUS also commended the acting Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Folashade Yemi-Esan, “for bringing her motherly disposition to bear on the negotiation process and for assuring the nation that necessary arrears would be paid.”