20th July, 2011
After negotiations with State governors and Federal Government spanning several hours over the implementation of the new Minimum Wage Act, Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria agreed late last night to call off a three day national strike scheduled to begin today. The calling off of the strike was contained in a communique issued late last night by the labour unions.
According to Labour, the strike was called off following acceptance by the Federal Government that it would commence the payment of the new national minimum wage for all categories of workers in its employ by August this year.
The Federal Government had on Monday said it will only implement the new national minimum wage for workers in grade 01 to 06 in the federal civil service.
â€œFederal Government shall conclude negotiations with Labour on the implementation of the minimum wage not later than 31st July, 2011.
â€œDetailed negotiations on the relativity implication of the implementation of the new National Minimum Wage Act 2011 will be concluded not later than 31st July, 2011.
â€œThe new wages will be implemented from 1st August, 2011.
â€œThe arrears of the new wages with effect from 23rd March, 2011 will be paid not later than 31st August, 2011.
â€œNo worker shall be victimised in any manner or form as a consequence of the implementation of the new Minimum Wage Act.
â€œIn line with the agreement earlier reached with the Federal Government and state governors, labour resolves to suspend the three-day warning strike across the country”, Labour said in the communique issued late last night.
The communiquÃ© was signed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim; Minister of Labour, Chief Emeka Worgu; Head of Service, Prof. Oladapo Afolabi; NLC President, Abdulwaheed Omar, and President of the TUC, Peter Esele.
Nigeria’s 36 state chief executives led by the chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Rotimi Amaechi had earlier after over six hours meeting with the Labour leaders agree to the modality for the payment of the minimumm wage.
The Governors however led the labour leaders to the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF where the meeting continued for another four hours before the agreement was reached.
Emeka Wogu, the Minister of Labour said the Federal Government would honour the new agreement.
The State governors had earlier agreed to pay the new minimum wage last Saturday.
By Oluokun Ayorinde