The umbrella body of the Organised Private Sector, NECA, on Sunday, said it supported an upward review of the minimum wage to N30,000, while calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to approve of the new minimum wage before Tuesday to avert the looming strike declared by the organised labour.
In a statement by its Director General, O. A. Oshinowo, NECA said though government did express preference for a lower figure than N30,000, the tripartite National Minimum Wage Committee actually resolved that N30,000 was a most reasonable figure to be recommended to Buhari.
NECA however directed its local unions to begin to enlighten workers on the fact that employers were also in support of the N30,000 new minimum wage in the event that Buhari failed to approve of the N30,000 proposal before Tuesday,
On commencement of strike, NECA called on employers to respect the workers reluctance to work, and explore means to recover days lost to the strike.
The body added that it had obtained assurances of the leadership of organized labour not to resort to damage of companies’ properties, in a bid to enforce the strike, while urging leadership of companies not to compromise the safety of their workers.
The statement read, in parts, “It is important we fill you in, as follows, on the position of the Organised Private Sector on this issue: – All through the process and discussions at the Tripartite National Minimum Wage Committee.
“Our position was N25, 000.00 per month proposed from the very beginning. – We, however, supported the proposal of N30, 000.00 on the last day of the committee’s sitting to avert a follow -up national strike.
“Besides, N30, 000.00 per month was within our mandate, which we considered very reasonable; more so, when Organised Labour was willing to trade off its position of N45, 000.00 for that lower figure.
“Though government did express preference for a lower figure than N30, 000.00 per month, the Committee insisted that it would be a reasonable figure to recommend to Mr. President.
“Following the conundrum that followed this outcome, our message to all has been that: It is important for all parties to respect the principle, procedure and outcome of the NMW Committee on wage setting. “Bearing in mind that past sessions of the NMW discussion have been guided by this time tested approach, the current session should not and cannot be any different in the interest of promoting an orderly system of industrial relations that is immune to political manipulation.
“In the light of the above, the next step in the process is for the Chairperson of the Committee to forward to Mr President the report of the Committee including its recommendations of N30, 000.00 per month National Minimum Wage, while noting any minority views in the course of arriving at this position.
“We are hoping that in order to forestall the planned strike by Organised labour, the above position would be given effect before Tuesday, 6th November for Mr. President to set in motion the process of giving legal teeth to a new National Minimum Wage, which government in its wisdom, taking note of the entirety of the recommendations of the NMW Committee, is at liberty to take decision on. We are aware there is already a move in that direction.”
“We are already in touch with the leadership of Organised Labour and we do have their assurances that they will ensure that the strike does not degenerate into mayhem and wanton damage of companies’ properties.”
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