Minimum wage: Labour demands payment of five-month arrears

The Trade Union Congress side of the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council on Monday called on the Federal Government to pay five months arrears of the new minimum wage dating back to April 18, 2019 when President Muhammadu Buhari signed the new minimum wage bill into law.

The government and organised labour came to an agreement on the new minimum wage on Friday, 182 days after Buhari had signed the bill.

Both parties agreed on 23.2 percentage increase for workers at grade level 07; 20 per cent for those at grade level 08; 19 per cent for workers at grade level 09; 16 per cent for those at grade levels 10 to 14; and 14 per cent for workers at grade levels 15 to 17.

In a statement by the acting Chairman of the union, Anchaver Simon, and the Secretary, Alade Lawal, the workers’ representatives also urged the government to keep to its promise of carrying out a general review of wages of public servants in the country.

The statement read in part, “We 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 another avoidable round of agitation by public service employees and their trade unions.

“We are also glad that the 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 consequential adjustments.”

While thanking the leaders of the Nigeria Labour Congress; Trade Union Congress; the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr Chris Ngige; Head of the Service of the Federation, Folasade Yemi-Esan; and other stakeholders, the union reminded all employers of labour that action would be taken against any of them that paid below the new wage structure.

PUNCH.

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