Labour leaders in Nigeria are now demanding for the payment of five months arrears of the newly agreed N30,000 minimum wage for workers in the country.
It would be recalled that the government and organised labour reached an agreement on the implementation of the new minimum wage last week Friday, about 6 months after President Muhammadu Buhari had signed the bill.
As previously reported, both parties agreed on 23.2 percentage increase for workers at grade level 07; 20 per cent for those at grade level 08; 19 per cent for workers at grade level 09; 16 per cent for those at grade levels 10 to 14; and 14 per cent for workers at grade levels 15 to 17.
However, the Trade Union Congress side of the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council on Monday called on the Federal Government to backdate the payment of the new minimum wage to April 18, 2019 when the President signed the new minimum wage bill into law.
In a statement jointly signed by the acting Chairman of the union, Anchaver Simon, and the Secretary, Alade Lawal, they called on the government to pay the arrears so as to avoid another break down in the government-workers relationship.
The statement read in part, “We wish to advise that since the 2019 National Minimum Wage was signed into Law by Mr President on April 18, 2019, the implementation should start from that date so as not to trigger another avoidable round of agitation by public service employees and their trade unions.
“We are also glad that the government has taken note of the need for a general salary review in the public service. We are looking forward to this review and we hope that the Federal Government will keep to its promise which was made during the negotiation of consequential adjustments.”
The labour leaders also used the opportunity to warn all categories of employers expected to implement the new minimum wage against delaying the implementation to workers further than necessary.