Governors’ Demand For Minimum Wage Reduction Declaration Of War On Nigerian Workers, Says NLC
The statement by the 36 state governors under the aegis of Nigeria Governors Forum that they can no longer sustain the payment of N18,000 minimum wage due to dwindling federal allocation has been described as a declaration of war on Nigerian workers.
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), which made its position known on Sunday, while reacting to the statement credited to the NGF Chairman and Zamfara State Governor, Abdulaziz Yari last week, expressed shock at the comment, vowing to resist any downward review of the minimum wage.
The NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, said the declaration by the governors was an attempt to sabotage efforts by organized labour to table a proposal for an upward review of the current minimum wage which was signed in 2011.
The NLC said it was prepared to mobilize against any plan to frustrate improved workers’ welfare in the country, adding it was ready to do battle to raise the living standard of Nigerian workers.
The congress said: “The Nigeria Labour Congress is shocked by the statement credited to the Chairman of the Governors’ Forum, Governor Abdulaziz Yari, that the N18,000 National Minimum Wage promulgated into law in 2011 was no longer sustainable because of the fall in the price of crude oil.
“The governor who was speaking on behalf of his colleagues at the end of a meeting of the Forum also claimed that the National Minimum Wage was imposed.
“We wish to make it abundantly clear that this attempt to reverse the National Minimum Wage is a declaration of war against the working people of this country, and we would have no alternative than to mobilize to respond to this act of aggression by the political class on our welfare.
“For the records, the 2011 National Minimum Wage came into existence after almost two years of agitation and eventual negotiation by the tripartite committee of government (represented by both the federal and state governments), the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association representing other employers (in the private sector) and organized Labour.
“This is in the best tradition of tripartite negotiation recognized and codified by the International Labour Organization. As organized Labour, we submitted a request for N52,000 and provided justification for it as the minimum wage which a worker and his recognized legal dependents needs to live a healthy life over 30 – 31 days in a month”.