The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has turned down the N27,000 minimum wage approved by the Council of State, saying it is ready to engage the National Assembly on Monday over the N30,000 figure agreed on by the Tripartite Committee.
The NLC President, Mr Ayuba Wabba, made this known while addressing newsmen at the end of its Congress Central Working (CWC) meeting held on Friday in Abuja.
The Council of State had on Tuesday approved N27,000 as new national minimum wage for workers in states while federal civil servants would earn N30,000.
The bill on the National Minimum Wage was transmitted to the National Assembly on Wednesday and had since passed second reading at the Senate.
According to Wabba, the meeting reviewed the development, including the fact that N30,000 was agreed at the tripartite meeting as the minimum wage.
He said; “It was out of place and procedure for that figure to be reduced to N27,000.
“Going by the convention of the International Labour Organisation, the figure that was agreed by the tripartite committee cannot be changed by any of the parties except through a process.
“Government as an employer cannot unilaterally change the figure. This is about law and procedure.
“Therefore, the CWC has frowned on that and rejected the issue of reducing the figure. We still maintain that we stand on the outcome of the tripartite committee.
“We will mobilse our members and engage the National Assembly on the issue. The negotiation must be respected and NASS should do the needful. We have put our members on the alert if that is not done.
“Certainly, we will also mobilise to take appropriate action that is desirable to protect and ensure that the tripartite process is respected”.
Wabba said the process adopted was in line with the provision of the International Labour Organisation(ILO) convention on minimum wage mechanism.
While noting that NASS represents the people, urged the members to respect the outcome of the tripartite process.
“Importantly, when you look at N30,000, it’s a compromised position in the context of today’s economy of Nigeria. We should be commended.
“As far back as 2011, the N18,000 minimum wage was equivalent to $150, today, the N30,000 is less than $100.
“We juxtapose this argument within the context of reality and demand that what was mutually agreed after all other factors have been put into consideration, including the ability to pay, must be respected, ”he added.