Nigerian workers make fresh demand from FG–
In celebration of this year’s labour day, Nigerian workers have made calls to the government at all levels to begin the implementation of the N30,000 new national minimum wage across the nation.
The General Secretary of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Dr. Peter Ozo-Eson, in an interview with Guardian, said the organised labour would today formally ask all employers of labour in the country to begin the payment of the new wage from this month.
According to him, getting the new minimum wage law implemented is not a one-off process but one that requires diligence and accuracy.
“A law takes effect from the day it is signed. So, the minimum wage law takes effect from the 18th of April, 2019 when it was signed by the president. The actual implementation, when the money would be paid, including whatever arrears that are there, is a matter for individual employer’s consultations with the relevant unions. That is how that would take place. As such, that sets the stage for actual implementation because while in some sectors there may not be difficulty at all and implementation will just go on unimpeded, we know that, particularly in respect to some states, there would be different levels of struggle that would still have to be executed in order to make the new wage a reality.
“This is because paying the minimum wage would require working out a salary table and how things fit into it. Each state is expected to deal with such situations, likewise at the federal level. So, these are the stages of struggles we are envisaging, but we are insisting that all these need to be sorted out very quickly so that actual implementation can start with the May 2019 salary,” he said.
Zoo-Eson also hinted that the labour movement would continue to take hard stance on casualisation but would be methodological in its approach with a view to getting the best bargain for Nigerian workers.He said the NLC had signed memorandums of understanding with some employers as well as employment agencies to inculcate the spirit of decent work as spelt out by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) relevant conventions.
”We have been engaged on the issue of casualisation for a very long time through a committee. We have even picketed a number of places. Some of those engagements have yielded results. For instance, at the Abuja Environmental Agency, we were able to get a memorandum of understanding signed that ensures casual workers are treated right.
”Apart from that, we are also working with companies that are involved in providing outsourcing services. We have also reached a memorandum of understanding with them such that whoever they employ and supply to places of work will be governed by all the issues of decent work, including guarantee of minimum wage and right to unionise,” he stated.