The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has called on the Kano State government to immediately stop the cut in workers’ salaries or risk an unnecessary industrial strike. The congress in a letter dated January 4, 2021 and addressed to Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, with reference number NLC/NS/B.12, described as unacceptable, the refusal to pay the national minimum wage and reneging on collective bargaining agreement on consequential salary adjustment.
The letter, which was signed by NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, noted that the National Minimum Wage Act was a non-negotiable law that must be obeyed regardless of any economic downturn. While lauding the state for going an extra mile to ensure the welfare of workers was assured, Wabba urged the state to consider an increase in salaries rather than slashing the take home pay of its workers, given the enormity of the challenges occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic. The letter reads in part; “We write to you with a lot of concern on the unsavory industrial relations development in Kano State.
“First, your administration suddenly stopped paying workers the new national minimum wage, which your state was lauded as one of the first to comply with the provisions of the National Minimum Wage Act. “Second, your administration has reneged on the Collective Bargaining Agreement you reached with workers on the payment of consequential salary adjustment based on the new national minimum wage.
“The claim that the reasons for this sudden volte face include the economic crunch occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic loads this debilitating punch thrown at poor workers with quantum ferocity. “Your Excellency, as an expert in our laws, knows quite well that no one in our country has the privilege of cherry picking which aspect of our laws to obey. The National Minimum Wage Act is a law which must be obeyed by every employer in Nigeria. It is not negotiable. “The refusal by any employer to pay the N30,000 new national minimum wage is tantamount to willful violation of our laws. Persistence in doing so can only be described as a dangerous stroll in “Anarchy” boulevard.