LABOUR is about for showdown with state governments that will not be prepared for fast implementation of the brand new minimal wage.
Officials mentioned on Tuesday that after securing an settlement with the Federal Government, it’s now time to get the states to key into the implementation. But many states are usually not financially wholesome.
Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) President Ayuba Wabba mentioned Labour would, amongst different actions, take states that fail to implement the wage legislation to courtroom.
Speaking on the sidelines of the 2019 NLC National Leadership Retreat holding at Nike Lake Hotel in Enugu, he mentioned: “While different international locations have totally accommodated and automatic the method of minimal wage changes and at the moment are centered on residing wages, we’re confronted with a scenario the place we’re pressured to cut price too arduous and look ahead to too lengthy for meagre will increase in minimal wage and changes in wage.
“There is a distinction between the legislation we have now and the legislation that has existed from 1981 until date. In 1981, when the primary minimal wage was enacted, there was no provision for sanctions. In this one, there’s a provision for sanctions as a result of it’s already a legislation.
“For any state or person that violates the provision of the law, a worker can make a report. Once we get the report, we can look at the means, including approaching the court, to enforce the provision of the law.”
Wabba mentioned Nigeria can’t complain of lack of funds “when we have a lot of public funds in private pockets”.
He added: “It is now not mentioned in hushed tones that the federal government is battling liquidity. This disaster is rooted in dangerous governance.
“Two issues outline dangerous governance on this respect: the institutionalization of corruption in public expenditure and weaknesses cum sabotage in inside revenues accruable to authorities.
“On corruption in public expenditure, the difficulty of humongous salaries and allowances paid to elected public officers and contract inflation prime the listing of our issues.
“On the other hand, the loss of government revenue due to internal sabotage by unpatriotic public officials is very alarming and worrisome.”
He urged the Federal Government to reject extra loans from the World Bank and to get well what International Oil Companies (IOCs) owe.
“We name on the Federal Government to not relaxation on its oars till it recovers each kobo owed us by the IOCs. Government officers behind this legal neglect should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the legislation.
“We call for a tax system that captures many businesses; rich people must be compelled by government to pay more taxes commensurate with their income,” Wabba mentioned.
The NLC President decried growing reluctance of employers to permit unionisation in workplaces.
This, he mentioned, has resulted in indecent situations, “slave wages, long hours of work without due compensation, and denial of social security cover.”
Delivering his speech on the retreat, Wabba mentioned: “Comrades, I need to congratulate all of us for the current upward adjustment in salaries consequent on the brand new nationwide minimal wage.
“Our collective diligence and persistence will put smiles on the faces of tens of millions of Nigerian staff and take many households out of poverty.
“But, I need to cost us that it’s not but Uhuru. We name on all our State Councils to supply the wanted management and work harmoniously with the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council (JNPSNC) to make sure efficient implementation of the brand new nationwide minimal wage and consequential wage adjustment, which should be reached by a strategy of collective bargaining.
“While commending state governments which have already commenced implementation of the brand new nationwide minimal wage, we urge that the implementation ought to be a product of collective bargaining course of consistent with ILO Convention 98 on Organising and Collective Bargaining.
“We also implore all employers of labour to ensure that the necessary formalities for smooth implementation of the negotiated salaries based on the new national minimum wage are carried out diligently.”
NLC General Secretary Emmanuel Ugbaoja mentioned: “Our folks have a mandate to go and negotiate with open thoughts and hoping that each state will open their books. We don’t anticipate that anyone will disobey the legislation of the land.
“We anticipate them to be cheap in the way in which they (state governments) will do the consequential adjustment. We will take each situation because it comes alongside.
“We received’t stability now and start to threaten brimstone and fireplace. We will contemplate all choices, however we aren’t going to begin with threats.
“We are going to negotiate with open mind. Whatever hand they bring will determine how we will respond.”
Asked if labour expects state governments to undertake the identical template agreed on the federal stage, he mentioned: “We have taken priority. Some state governors will do higher, some will do equally slightly under.
“It relies on the chief government and what his priorities are and the way significantly he takes his work as a governor and what sources can be found to him. So, it varies.
“Some will do better than the Federal Government, some will do as good as the Federal Government and some will do slightly below the Federal Government.”
Enugu State Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi promised that his administration would prioritise staff’ welfare.
He mentioned: “Enugu State workers will get a better deal in the implementation of the consequential increase in the minimum wage.”