Spain mulls N450k minimum wage as FG, labour fight over N30k


As the Nigerian Federal Government and the organized labour squabble over minimum wage for the country, the Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez today said his cabinet would approve a 22 percent increase in the monthly minimum wage to €1,050 ($1,192) by 2019.

The increase, “the biggest since 1977”, will be approved at a cabinet meeting to be held in Barcelona on December 21st, he told parliament.

“A rich country can’t have poor workers,” said Sanchez. The measure was part of his minority Socialist government’s draft 2019 budget which he is struggling to pass in parliament so it will now be approved by decree.

The Spanish prime minister’s announcement comes on the heels of French President Emmanuel Macron unveiling, Monday, a 100-euro ($113) per month increase in the minimum wage from next year in a major concession to “yellow vest” protests which have shook the country.

The French government estimated the minimum wage hike will cost the state €340 million per year. Employers groups and the conservative opposition parties, the Popular Party (PP) and Ciudadanos however oppose the wage hike, insisting it will hurt job creation.

Pablo Hernandez de Cos told journalists last month that the salary rise would slash 0.8 percent of jobs in Spain and “have the opposite effect to that intended of hindering those we want to help most, young people.”

Meanwhile, Nigeria’s Ministry of Labour, and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) are yet to reach a compromise on what the country’s minimum wage should be which has been N18, 000.

NLC insists on an upward review of N30, 000 which they say will barely cushion the current high cost of living in the country.  The Labour ministry which is negotiating for the federal and state government is showing reluctance on the premise that most states could not even pay the N18,000.

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