MINIMUM WAGE: LABOUR MEETS FG TODAY

Filed in Headlines by on July 25, 2011

Minimum wage: Labour meets FG today
By Fidelis Soriwei, Abuja
Monday, 25 Jul 2011

President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Abdulwaheed Omar

The leadership of the organised labour will meet with the Federal Government on Monday (today) for final talks on the implementation of the new Minimum Wage Amendment Act of 2011.

The Acting General Secretary of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Mr. Owei Lakemfa, told our correspondent via the telephone on Sunday that the meeting was meant to work out how the agreement reached with the government would be implemented.

He said the controversial issue of salary relativity and payment of arrears, which made labour to issue an aborted three-day warning strike, would be effectively addressed during the meeting.

In suspending the planned three-day warning strike on Tuesday night, the organised labour had entered into an agreement with the Federal Government to ensure that all cadres of workers benefitted from the new wage as against the initial plan of the government to restrict payment to workers on levels one to six.

It was agreed at the meeting by the government and representatives of the two umbrella bodies of the labour movement, the NLC and the Trade Union Congress that negotiations on the payment of the new wage would be concluded on July 31 for the new wage to take effect from August 1.

Part of the statement reads, “The Federal Government shall conclude negotiations with labour on the implementation of the minimum wage not later than 31st July, 2011.

“The new wage will be implemented from 1st August, 2011.

“The arrears of the new wage with effect from 23rd March, 2011, will be paid not later that 31st August, 2011.”

He said each of the state councils of the NLC was expected to conclude negotiations with its state government on July 31.

According to him, the state councils were expected to notify the national leadership of the labour movement once agreement on modalities for payment had been reached.

He said, “We shall be meeting with the Federal Government in the afternoon of Monday (today) on the implementation of the agreement reached with the government on Tuesday.

“Of course the issue of arrears and payment relativity would be discussed since workers on different grade levels would not receive the same salaries.”

Also, the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu, told our correspondent on the telephone on Sunday that negotiation on the agreement were scheduled to commence on Friday but could not hold because the parties to the discussions were not available. He said the negotiations would hold under the supervision of the Head of Service of the Federation, Professor Oladapo Afolabi, who is the chairman of the subcommittee set up on the negotiations.

He added that the subcommittee would report back to the Federal Government for the payment of the new wage to commence.

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