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24 Aug 2016

UNPAID SALARIES: Ngige issues warning to governors

The minister of labour and employment, Chris Ngige, has cautioned state governors against reducing the remunerations and hours of work of workers.

According to NAN, Ngige in a statement issued by Samuel Olowokere, deputy director press in the ministry, stated that the warning to state governors was necessary to restore industrial harmony and forestall breakdown of law and order. 

He said the protracted industrial crisis involving the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and Nasarawa state government necessitated the issuance of the warning. 

The minister invited all parties in the labour crisis in the Nasarawa state for a crucial meeting on Wednesday, August 24, at 2pm at the Ministry of Labour He said: “Sequel to this, I hereby direct the unions to suspend the proposed picketing of government offices and demonstrations.

“I enjoin all parties to maintain the status quo ante pending the outcome of the meeting intended to resolve the issues in dispute.

“Similarly, to avoid further escalation of disputes of this type all over the states of the federation, state governments are hereby advised to always negotiate any issue that touches on the salaries and wages of workers.
 “This is in order to ensure that they obtain a Collective Bargaining Agreement (BCA) before these remunerations are tampered with.
 “I wish to add for the avoidance of doubt that the issue of minimum wage flows out from the Minimum Wage Act, 2011.”
 He noted that the issue of arbitrary reduction in the hours of work was against the International Labour Organisation (ILO) regulation; Convention 1, which had been adopted and domesticated by Nigeria. Ngige said the law prescribes eight hours of work in a day and not more than 40 hours in a week. 
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has explained that all its state branches where salary liabilities of up to three months exist will enforce no pay, no work’ policy. News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Union’s national president Comrade Ayuba Wabba, revealed this when he featured on a programme on Sunday, August 21 at Abuja, FCT.
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