Mimimum wage: NLC accuses Nasarawa govt of doctoring agreement


Leaders of organised labour in Nasarawa State, on Tuesday, said they refused to sign the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the state government and suspend the unions’ ongoing strike because government doctored the agreement.

Yusuf Iya, Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), and Mohammed Doma, Chairman, Trade Union Congress (TUC), stated this on Tuesday, in Lafia, while speaking to newsmen after their congress meeting.

The NLC Chairman explained that there was a collective agreement, an MoU that was collectively signed by the parties to the dispute which stated that the last tranche of August 2016 salary arrears would be paid in June.

“We also agreed that promotions will be implemented from August, while the committee on minimum wage should resume discussions on the consequential adjustments for workers on grade level seven and above.

“But, to our surprise, the government doctored the agreement and included a clause that whenever the federal allocation is less than N4 billion, the government will revert to old payment.

“Meaning that any month the allocation is less than N4 billion, the government will suspend the implementation of the promotion and pay workers on their old grade levels,” the NLC Chairman added.

Iya said signing the agreement with that clause would amount to mortgaging the future of workers and the leadership of the union would not succumb to that.

On its part, the TUC expressed displeasure with the government for including what was not originally agreed to by representatives of labour and the government.

TUC’s chairman, Mohammed Doma noted that while the workers were very patient with the government, they had to embark on the strike to fight for their rights and ensure their career progression.

While commending workers for their support and resilience since the strike began on June 15, Doma assured that workers would continue to stay at home until government met their demands.

Meanwhile, the government has not responded to labour’s allegations that it doctored the joint agreement, but the Deputy Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Akabe, told newsmen, who sought his reaction, that the government was still waiting for labour to revert to it after the parties reached the agreement.

Akabe, who is the chairman of the committee set up on the strike, added that the government was still waiting to hear from the labour representatives.

The unions went on strike over the partial implementation of the minimum wage, without recourse to due process of collective bargaining, lack of implementation of promotions since 2008.

Other issues included, the lack of annual increments, training, non-confirmation of appointments of casual workers, some of whom had been working for more than 10 years.

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