BY CHINYERE ABIAZIEM
LAGOS: LABOUR and Civil Society Coalition, LASCO, yesterday in Lagos, said the only intervention the National Assembly could make to stop the strike is to ensure the implementation of the N18.000 new minimum wage, saying that it “has gone beyond negotiation.”
LASCO said the planned strike was not a struggle about Federal and state government promising to pay but for them to actually pay in accordance with the spirit and letters of the new Minimum Wage Act.
In a symposium organised to back organized labour’s demand for the implementation of the new Minimum Wage, the group said Minimum Wage cuts across all workers from level 01 – 16; as opposed to the erroneous impression being created by Government officials that it was for only workers on level 01 – 06.
A communiqué issued after the symposium lamented that none of the 36 state governments and the Federal Government as at today had implemented the Minimum Wage Act and called on the Federal Government as a regulator, to enforce compliance of the new Minimum Wage Act on public and private employees of 50 employees and above.
According to the communiqué, “The new National Minimum Wage is an act of law beyond the stage of negotiation, hence is not negotiable.Minimum wage should be understood to be for establishment (public and private employers) with 50 or more employees. Minimum Wage cut across all workers from level 01 – 16; as opposed to the erroneous impression being created by Government officials that it is meant for only those on level 01 – 06.
None of the 36 State governments and the Federal Government as at date has implemented the Minimum Wage Act. The relativity in salary adjustment for public service being lately adopted by some states, especially Lagos State, in the wake of the passing of the new Minimum Wage Act into law IS NOT SAME AS THE MINIMUM WAGE.
The symposium resolved that as a REGULATOR, Government has a responsibility to enforce compliance of the new Minimum Wage Act on public and private employees of 50 employees and above. LASCO endorses the declaration by NLC and TUC for a warning strike on July 20 -22 as the first phase of actions to press home the demands for the implementation of the new National Minimum Wage Act.
The new Minimum Wage Act must be implemented without retrenchment. Any form of violation or rationalization of the ACT will be resisted by mass actions.”