The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), has charged states to adopt Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with state councils of the labour centres in the negotiation of a consequential agreement in the implementation of the minimum wage law.
While commending the processes leading to the eventual sealing of agreement between the Federal Government and Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council (JNPSNC), NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, noted that the ILO Convention 98 must guide the CBA.
His words: “While commending state governments that have already commenced implementation of the new national minimum wage, we urge that the implementation should be a product of collective bargaining process in line with ILO Convention 98 on Organising and Collective Bargaining.
Furthermore, all employers of labour in the thirty-six states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), as well as the Organised Private Sector (OPS), are expected to complete the implementation process of the new national minimum wage and consequential wage adjustment forthwith.”
He urged state councils of the NLC to offer leadership and work harmoniously with the TUC and JNPSNC and all unions to ensure effective implementation of the new national minimum wage and the consequential salary adjustment that must be reached through a process of collective bargaining.
NLC lauded Nigerian workers and affiliate unions for their support, solidarity and unity of purpose throughout the difficult negotiations.
NLC noted that that salary adjustment would benefit all categories of workers including those in the military and paramilitary services.
Apart from workers, NLC added that the recent salary increase will also benefit ordinary citizens especially those in the informal sector, as the increase in available disposable income of workers will translate into a stronger purchasing power for Nigerians.
He added: “This will however only be sustainable if traders and providers of essential services refrain from artificial inflation of the prices of goods and services. It makes more sense to sell more at a stable price than sell little or nothing at inflated prices. Certainly, we have learnt from our past mistakes that inflation of prices with adjustment in salaries is a roulette game in which the downtrodden masses are the victims.”
Wabba also called on the government to refrain from introducing counter-productive economic policies and decisions that would erode the recent wage gain achieved by workers.
“Any further increase in the prices of petroleum products, electricity tariff and personal income taxes would amount to collecting with the left hand what is given to workers with the right hand. The leadership of organised labour will resist such move,” he said.