Minimum wage: Former labour leader Esele warns of industrial action

Minimum wage: Former labour leader Esele warns of industrial action

- Peter Esele, a former president of the TUC says the federal government has a responsibility to respect the terms of the agreement reached with the organised labour on the new minimum wage

- The former labour leader notes that the failure by government to honour the minimum wage agreement would undermine the Minimum Wage Act signed into law by President Buhari

- Esele faults remarks by the minister of labour, Chris Ngige, that the government could not implement the consequential adjustments in the payment of the new minimum wage

Peter Esele, a former president of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), says he foresees a strike action by the organised labour over the non-implementation of the minimum wage.

Esele on Saturday, October 12, in Benin in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said the federal government has a responsibility to respect the terms of the agreement reached with the organised labour on the new minimum wage.

He said that failure by the government to do so would undermine the spirit and letters of the Minimum Wage Act signed into law by the Nigerian leader.

He described as unfortunate, the recent remarks by the Minister of labour, Dr Chris Ngige, that the Federal Government could not implement the consequential adjustments in the payment of the new minimum wage as proposed by labour.

“Does it mean that the various state agencies involved in the negotiations didn’t tabulate the figures to know what is payable or not?

“If the answer is no, that is dereliction of duty and appropriate sanction should be meted out.

“The consequential adjustments which is another sticking point are known to the tripartite committee(Government, Employers and Labour). So it is expected to go seamlessly.

“But sadly, as with everything in Nigeria, it must be fought for, even if agreed upon.

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“I foresee a strike action. Hopefully the president, his team and the organised labour can find a way out to avoid an industrial action,” he said

Meanwhile, the federal government has reportedly started plotting to avert the imminent industrial action by labour unions over the failed full implementation of the new N30,000 minimum wage.

Recall that the labour leaders had threatened to go on strike on Wednesday, October 16, if the federal government failed to resolve the issue of the consequential adjustments of the new minimum wage.

However, Daily Sun reports that a statement released by the Ministry of Labour and Employment reveals that the government has started taking steps to fully resolve the crisis.

According to the statement, the minister of labour, Chris Ngige, has met with key stakeholders on the issue and a resolution has been made that all the concerned groups should meet separately ahead of a final meeting scheduled for Tuesday, October 15, where final agreement will be made on an equable implementation of the consequential adjustment of the minimum wage.

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Source: Legit Nigeria

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