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Workers won’t accept anything less than N30,000 ― Wabba

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NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba

THE President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba, last night rejected in totality, the N22,500 proposed by the Governors Forum, after their meeting in Abuja.


Wabba, in an interview with Nigerian Tribune, insisted that Nigerian workers will accept nothing less than N30,000, describing the figure proposed by the governors as imposition, which has no place in law, collective bargaining agreement, negotiation and social dialogue.

“At this point, we must make it very clear that workers will accept nothing less than N30,000, which has been negotiated. No one of the tripod, whether employers or government can come with an imposed figure.

What they are quoting now is an imposed figure. It has no place in the collective bargaining agreement, it has no place in social dialogue.” The NLC President said.

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He, therefore, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to call for the report of the Tripartite Committee on National Minimum Wage that negotiated the process, and transmit the outcome of the report to the National Assembly, because governors were part of the processes that arrived at N30,000.

Comrade Wabba said: “The position is that minimum wage is not actually an allocation, minimum wage is negotiated and we have negotiated; where the governors were represented by six governors, one representing each of the geopolitical zones.

“Not only that, in the course of the negotiation, they were given the opportunity to submit memo. Every governor was written officially, a memorandum was requested from them to make impute into the negotiation process. Added to that, there was a public hearing where they were given an opportunity. The totality of this is that 20 states actually responded and the quoted figures. Most of the figures were higher than what they are talking now.

“What they don’t recognise is that a state is an entity, it is not a political forum where people will come to Abuja and make a statement, and go back to their state and make another statement.

“Therefore, that is rejected because the minimum wage is negotiated, it is not allocated. It is not something for the governors to just make a pronouncement. What they are doing is against the law, it is not known to the process of collective bargaining negotiation. This is the first time this is happening in the context of negotiation and therefore, it is a wrong approach, an approach that can take us no- where.

“It is not a state minimum wage, we are talking about national minimum wage which Convention 131, and also the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 placed it under the Exclusive List.

“Having utilized all the opportunity available, they can’t turn back because they were part of the processes of arriving at 30, 000. They can’t then turn back and say they were not part of the process.

“It took us about eight months to negotiate this process. This is like arm twisting to undermine the rights of the workers. Therefore, going forward, Mr President should call for the committee report to be submitted to him, he should also do the needful to transmit same to the National Assembly. Anybody that has any issue should appear before the National Assembly, including the states, but as an individual entity, do defend their positions. There will be a public hearing at the National Assembly.

The post Workers won’t accept anything less than N30,000 ― Wabba appeared first on Tribune.

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