The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has vowed to compel state governments in the country to pay the new minimum wage to their workers.
The President of the NLC, Ayuba Wabba made the vow on Tuesday at the opening of the congress’ 2019 National Leadership Retreat in Enugu.
According to Wabba, labour would use all necessary options to enforce an effective implementation of the new N30,000 National Minimum Wage Act once the issue of consequential adjustments had been settled with states.
He also said that with the signing of the new minimum wage, any state that violated its provisions would be sued, lamenting the era when Nigerian workers were forced to beg for their salaries, running into arrears.
He also noted that other countries had fully accommodated and automated the process of minimum wage adjustments, adding that they focused on living wages.
Wabba said: “We are faced with a situation where we are forced to bargain too hard and wait for too long for meagre increases in the minimum wage and adjustments in salaries.”
He said that the new minimum wage had become a law that could be enforced in a court of law if it was breached or violated by a government or a private person.
“Let me also inform you that there is a difference between the law we have and the law that had existed from 1981 till date. In 1981, when the first minimum wage was enacted, there were no provisions for sanctions.
“In this one we negotiated, there are provisions for sanctions because it is already a law. Any state or person that violates the provisions of the law, there are three ways to address it: one is that the worker can report to his union.
“Once you report, we can look at the means and avenues including a court to enforce the provisions of the law. So now there is a clout to enforce the provisions of the law. So clearly speaking, once there is an understanding or an agreement on the issue of consequential adjustments, the issue is settled and where there is an issue of none respect for the law, it can be enforced legally in a court of law”, he said.