As the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC rejected the N27, 000 minimum wage approved for public servants by the Council of States, the Muslim Media Watch Group of Nigeria, MMWG, has advised the union against insisting on the N30, 000 proposed to the government.
Specifically, the group warned the Labour against embarking on strike few weeks to the 2019 general elections, saying that “any strike action embarked upon by the Labour on this issue of minimum wage would surely be a disservice to the nation”.
In a statement by its national coordinator, Alhaji Ibrahim Abdullahi, the group said it “received with happiness the resolution of the Federal Executive Council and the Council of States’ meetings convened by President Muhammadu Buhari”.
While quoting official report, it said the Federal Government had approved the N30, 000 minimum wage demanded by the Labour but granted States the option of paying nothing less than N27, 000.
“This is a good point to start from, bearing in mind the challenges faced by stakeholders since the negotiation on this matter began about a year ago. We must commend President Muhamnadu Buhari for keeping his promise of resolving this issue and keeping faith with his assurance of transmitting the Executive Bill to the National Assembly today (yesterday, 23rd January, 2019).
“Our appeal to the Labour is to shift from its hard-line posture of not accepting anything less than N30, 000 even in the States and Local Governments. This stance of the Labour would create more economic hardship for the Nation and the workers; as the current price of crude oil upon which the current revenue of the Nation largely depends is very low.
“Rather than rejecting the offer, our Labour Unions should be realistic and patriotic to accept it and commend the Federal Government for being workers friendly.
“What the Labour ought to demand for is the position of the pensioners and retirees in the new offer as Nigerian Union of Pensioners had requested for same minimum wage for its members, as any minimum wage that does not carry pensioners along is an incomplete policy.
“As the nation prepares for general elections in the next three weeks, any strike action embarked upon by the Labour on this issue of minimum wage would surely be a disservice to the nation.
“The Labour must shelve any plan to order any strike action for now in the interest of peace, stability and progress of the nation”, the group stressed.
National Secretary of NLC, Mr. Peter Ozo-Eson had declared that the Council of States has no jurisdiction determining another amount after the tripartite committee has submitted its report.
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