As some state governments are looking to cutting down on the N18,000 minimum wage, the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), on Monday said that it will still submit a fresh proposal to review workers’ salaries.
TUC President Bobooi Kaigama in a 13-point communique at the end of its National Executive Council meeting said that it was regrettable that governors make excuses when the issues border on the workers and the masses.
Some state had complained about their continuos payment of the N18,000 minimum wage signed into law in March 2011 by former President Goodluck Jonathan.
While they blamed it on the poor state of the economy, which was heightened by the dwindling prices of oil, they said the only alternative is to cut down or retrench the workers.
The TUC said in the communique that the statement attributed to the governors was diversionary, as minimum wage was due for upward review.
“The question of imposition does not arise since the negotiations leading to the enactment of minimum wage passed through all the tenets of the International Labour Organisation’s tripartism.
“The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), the government, as well as the organised labour and government (as regulator), were all involved,’’ the communique said.
It called on the Federal Government to settle all outstanding arrears of salaries, promotion, and other allowances owed federal workers since compilation of the indebtedness had since been concluded.
The communique commended the federal government for the bail-out extended to needy states to pay arrears of workers’ salary and urged affected states to ensure that the bail-out funds were used judiciously.
On fuel scarcity, the communique urged the government to revamp existing oil refineries and build new ones to end incessant scarcity and the fuel subsidy issue in the country.
It also urged government to step up the fight against crude oil theft, oil pipeline vandalism, as well as corruption in the oil and gas sector, to boost employment.
The communique further called on the government to review the list of 42 prohibited items in its foreign exchange policy to enable genuine manufacturers to access needed raw materials.