Fri. Apr 3rd, 2020

We’ll Force Ayade To Keep Promise On Minimum Wage – C’River NLC

2 min read

Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Cross River State, Mr Ben Ukpepi has spoken of the readiness of the NLC to compel the state governor, Prof Ben Ayade to keep his initial promise to pay the minimum wage to workers in the state.
The NLC chairman said in an interview with TNN that the governor had earlier promised to pay the new wage, the moment the federal government defined all the indices for the payments. He added that it was on the basis of his promise that labour went into negotiations with the state government, through the office of the head of service, before arriving at some agreements for implementation.
Ukpepi who confirmed the notice as issued last Friday said “the notice was served last Friday and this is weekend, so we expect that by Monday the body will resume negotiation. The ultimatum given is for seven days, thereby will expire around 28th. We still have some little time that we can amend if they want.”
Speaking of their minimum expectation from the government, he said, “the minimum expectation is that the minimum wage must be paid with the consequential adjustments inclusive.
“He(Ayade) cannot say he won’t be able to pay, it’s a national issue, it’s a constitutional issue, so how would he say he won’t be able to pay? If he can talk to us and we come into agreement of whatever, we can look at it but to say you are not paying at all is unacceptable.”
Ukpepi faulted Ayade on his new position that he could only lay workers from levels one to six. “We insist that they must pay certainly. Right now our position is that they must pay the minimum wage.
The NLC chairman said labour was not threatening to go on strike because Ayade was not paying salaries, but that the strike was necessary to force the governor to implement the new minimum wage.
“We are not striking for non-payment of salaries, we are striking because of the minimum wage which is a national issue, which most states have complied.” He added that the governor had severally said he was going to pay whatever was agreed at the federal level.
“You know when he(Ayade) travelled, you know he was not around for like three weeks, we completed the negotiation, then we were waiting for his briefing, to brief him before we sign the agreement.
“The negotiation was with head of service, he was the chairman of the negotiating team, we concluded and we were only waiting. He said he wants to brief him before we sign the agreement, only to come back with a different story. So we are shocked.
“After the briefing by the head of service to the governor on the position so far, labour

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