Organised labour led by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) said on Friday that the failure of some states in the country to pay workers’ salaries will not stop them from demanding a review of the national minimum wage.
Labour said apart from the fact that the minimum wage act was due for review, the fall in the value of the naira, the increase in electricity tariff, biting economic situation in the country and the increase in goods and services necessitated the demand for a review of the minimum wage from N18, 000 to N56, 000.
The Deputy President of Congress and Chairman of the 2016 May Day committee, Comrade Peters Adeyemi, said at a pre-May Day press conference that states that had refused to pay the N18, 000 were acting against the laws of the land, pointing out that the NLC and the TUC will not fold their hands and watch those states act against the law.
Adeyemi said the N18,000 minimum wage is no longer realistic as its value has reduced far below the expectations of Nigerian workers due to collapse of naira.
He said “The naira has collapsed beyond the expectations of every Nigerian. I recall that when we negotiated the N18,000 minimum wage, the exchange rate then was about N145 to the dollar. As at this morning, it is about N321.00 and it is said to be stable.
“So, if you do arithmetical calculation, you will realize that it is more than 100 percent fall. What that means in effect is that the N18,000 itself has gone down beyond 100 percent from the time it was negotiated. What mean is that what N18,000 can buy has reduced significantly.”