The Nigerian Labour Congress is on a collision with the federal government over a major dispute involving the minimum wage for workers. The strike has gained support among sections of the working class in the oil-producing West African state., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Minimum Wage: Edo to Pay N18,000:34k
12 Jul 2011
By Damilola Oyedele- Ogunluyi and Adibe Emenyonu
Edo State Government has signed a new minimum wage of N18,000.34k with the Organized Labour Unions in the state, with effect from June 1, 2011.
Dr Simon Imeukemhe, Secretary to the State Government, Mr Anthony Edokpayi, Head of Service Mr. I.J Obazele, Permanent Secretary, Directorate of Establishments signed on behalf of the government while Comrade Emmanuel Ademokun, Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress; Comrade Joe Aligbe, Chairman, Trade Union Congress and Comrade Shaka Otoide, Chairman, Joint Negotiation Council signed on behalf of the unions. Before the signing of the new wage structure, workers in Edo State were earning N10,500.00
According to the Governor, “Edo State Government and the organised union have met, discussed and reflected on all the issues arising from the implementation of the minimum wage in Edo State and I am happy that we have wrapped up an agreement”.
Meanwhile, as the July 15, 2011 deadline issued by organised labour to the Federal and State Governments to commence implementation of the N18,000 national minimum wage draws near, the offer by the Federal Government to implement the increment for only Grade Levels 1-6 officers of its civil service has also been rejected.
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) said at a meeting convened by the Minister of Labour & Productivity, Chief Chukwuemeka Wogu, in Abuja Monday that accepting such offer would give state governments the excuse needed to contravene the National Minimum Wage Act.
Accepting such offer, they said, would also mean that the least paid worker in the employ of the Federal Government who earns N17, 030 would receive an increment of N970 making his salary N18, 000. The labour leaders insisted that the implementation should be for Grade Levels 1 – 16 exempt Permanent Secretaries who are on Grade level 17.
Organised labour also accused some state governments of taking advantage of the minimum wage issue to sway workers to vote for them during the last general elections only to come up with various excuses after they had won the elections.