Minimum Wage: NLC Warns FG, Traders to Refrain from Price Inflation

In the early hours of October 18, 2019, the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council (JNPSNC) – Trade Union Side – reached a compromise with the Federal Government on consequential salary adjustment for public sector workers based on the new national minimum wage.

Following this development, the NLC has stated that the hard-won salary adjustment will benefit all categories of workers including those in the military and para military services.

In a statement made available to The Sight News, the Congress noted that apart from workers, the recent salary increase will also benefit ordinary citizens especially those in the informal sector as the increase in the available disposable income of workers will translate into a stronger purchasing power for our people.

The Congress however stated, that this will only be sustainable if traders and providers of essential services refrain from artificial inflation of the prices of goods and services.

According to the President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, it makes more sense to sell more at a stable price than sell little or nothing at inflated prices. “Certainly, we have learnt from our past mistakes that inflation of prices with adjustment in salaries is a roulette game in which the downtrodden masses are the victims.

“We also call on government to refrain from introducing counter-productive economic policies and decisions that would erode the recent wage gain achieved by workers.

“Any further increase in the prices of petroleum products, electricity tariff and personal income taxes would amount to collecting with the left hand what is given to workers with the right hand.The leadership of organized labour will resist such”, he emphasized.

While commending state governments that have already commenced implementation of the new national minimum wage, he urged that the implementation should be a product of collective bargaining process in line with ILO Convention 98 on Organizing and Collective Bargaining.

“We want to thank all Nigerian workers and our affiliate unions for their support, solidarity and unity of purpose throughout the difficult negotiations.

“State Councils of the Nigeria Labour Congress are hereby directed to offer leadership and work harmoniously with the TUC and JNPSNC and all unions to ensure effective implementation of the new national minimum wage and the consequential salary adjustment that must be reached through a process of collective bargaining,” Wabba said.

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