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Workers to resist planned minimum wage removal from exclusive list

18 August 2013, 15:20

Awka - Nigerian workers have threatened to resist the removal of minimum wage from the exclusive list to concurrent list in the new constitution by the National Assembly.

Dr Ayuba Wabba, President of the Medical and Health Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MHWUN) made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Awka on Sunday.

He said the Senate had tinkered with the provision in the constitution amendment in contravention of the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO’s) convention in dealing with minimum wage, freedom of association and collective bargaining.

He said that already, the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) had petitioned President Goodluck Jonathan on the issue.

He said they had also petitioned the Senate and House of Representatives that the organised labour would do everything within its power to mobilise Nigerian workers to resist such exploitative tendencies.

"You are aware that before now, the 1979, 1999 constitutions and all previous constitutions have captured minimum wage under the exclusive list.

"This was taking into cognisance that there is an ILO convention dealing with it,’’ he said.

Wabba commended the House of Representatives for not considering the amendment, and seeing reasons that it was a direct contravention of ILO convention, which Nigeria is a signatory.

He said that it was only the senate that had tinkered with the provision, taking the powers and giving it to the State Houses of Assembly to make laws on general wage.

He described the proposal as "a call for chaos’’.

"The organised labour in its entirety will resist any attempt to remove minimum wage from the exclusive list.

"Any constitutional amendment on it must take into cognisance the yearnings and aspirations of the workers.

"We went to the collation from local governments to the constituency levels, those issues were never canvassed.

"All the states we have visited there was no voting for the removal of minimum wage from the exclusive list, the report is there at the national assembly,’’ Wabba said.



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