Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) have jointly issued a warning letter to the federal government of a likely industrial crisis if the committee on the implementation of new minimum wage does not resume talks soon.
The two labour unions in a joint letter to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha, said they were disappointed that progress has not been made towards reaching agreement on the payment of the minimum wage.
The meeting between the Joint National Public Services Negotiating Council and the government representatives on the committee on the adjustment of salaries was stalemated following disagreement over the percentage increase to be adopted across board. The letter was dated July 17, and signed by both the NLC and TUC, came as a follow-up to the earlier one sent by the Joint Civil Service Negotiating Council on July 16 on the negotiation.
In the letter, NLC and TUC alleged that the government’s team was using unnecessary delay to frustrate efforts at concluding negotiations.
Unlike before, both NLC and TUC, are now demanding that they would be active in future meetings for the new salary adjustment.
The letter reads: “We would wish to commence this letter by first commending Mr. President for setting up this committee in which we all had confidence to expeditiously work out the modalities for relativity and any other consequential effect that may arise from the new national minimum wage.
“Our optimism was hinged on the fact that this would not be the first time we would be having this type of committee”.
In the letter, labour criticised the option of a staggered implementation adopted by the federal government, saying the decision was not taken in good faith. They insisted that staggered implementation is both divisive and catastrophic.
“It is important to note that the national minimum wage has always been implemented holistically in acknowledgement of the fact that we all go to the same market.
“In light of this and the need to head off a major industrial crisis, we would urge you to do all that is necessary to ensure that the meeting of the committee is reconvened with NLC and TUC,” it said.
The President of TUC, Quadri Olaleye who confirmed the petition to THISDAY said it was submitted to the SGF last Friday.