People’s Democratic Party, PDP, leaders in the South-South region gathered
The President of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba, has said they will vehemently oppose any move to tamper with the rightfully earned salaries of workers in the pretence of implementing the new minimum wage.
The warning is coming in reaction to President Buhari’s statement on the review of workers’ salaries. Which would especially affect those who earn above the minimum wage.
Buhari’s statement reads: “At the federal level, we have made adequate provision for the increase in the minimum wage in our 2019 budget proposals, which we submitted to the National Assembly. Therefore, we will be able to meet the additional costs that will be incurred in moving up all personnel who are currently earning below the new minimum wage.
“We anticipate that after the new minimum wage has been passed into law, we will be going into negotiations for salary review for all the workers who are already earning above the new minimum wage. It is therefore important that we are properly prepared to meet these demands
“I want to make it clear that there is no question about whether the national minimum wage will be reviewed upwards. I am committed to a review of the minimum wage.”
But Wabba’s reaction was a total rejection of Buhari’s position, saying that there was no basis for such a move.
Wabba’s statement reads: “That is not the principle behind the minimum wage and the technical committee is simply a government committee. It is their internal mechanism. I am not so sure that the minimum wage is about reducing workers’ wages.
“If they have earned their salaries legitimately, there is no way the minimum wage can reduce it. In fact, the minimum wage is about empowering workers and improving on what they collect. I don’t think that decision is right because every salary a worker earns is legitimately negotiated on the table.
“I think what they need to do is to reduce the salaries of political office holders, those that are collecting salaries that are not appropriated or salaries that are humongous. We know the wastages are the security votes and the high cost of governance.”