TUC gives Senate one-week ultimatum to clarifyits position

Lagos – The Trade Union Congress (TUC) on
Saturday gave the Senate a one-week ultimatum
to clarify its position on the removal of Minimum
Wages Laws from the Exclusive List.
In a communiqué jointly signed by the President
of the union, Bobboi Kaigam, and the National
Secretary, Musa Lawal, TUC said this was
necessary before a follow-up action.
The media reports that the communiqué came at
the end of an emergency meeting of the TUC
Central Working Committee (CWC) in Lagos.
According to the communiqué, the purported
amendment by the Senate, if allowed to stand,
would produce a number of undesirable
implications.
“The CWC observed that there are conflicting
reports as to the true state of affairs.”
“So, the leadership of the National Assembly
should clarify the true position of the amendment
within one week from today.”

“We say `NO’ to the minimum wage deregulation
and we resist the attempt with our capacity.”
“The CWC-in-session mandated the leadership of
TUC to relate with the NLC and allies in civil
society organisations to mobilise without further
delay for a follow-up action.”
It said the amendment would create a chaotic
and potentially destabilising industrial relations
environment in the country.
“Politics will be introduced into wage
determination, in particular during elections, as
was the case in the First Republic among
Regional Governments.”
“Minimum wage which is a product of collective
bargaining should not be made a state law,
because both the private and public sectors are
involved,” the communique read.
It also added that the amendments would negate
the spirit and practice of the International Labour
Organisation (ILO) Convention 131 which the
nation domesticated in the 1979 Constitution.
“While we give them one week, our mobilisation
has commenced. Immediately after the expiration
of the one week, there will be follow-up action
and nothing more.”
“We will not get back to them anymore. We want
the Senate to be very explicit,” the TUC said.
The communiqué commended the House of
Representatives for voting to retain the minimum
wage on the exclusive list in its amendment.
The media reports that the removal of the
minimum wage from the exclusive list empowers
states and individual employers to decide on and
set their own minimum wage.
This would be done without recourse to the
national minimum wage.

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