The Deputy President of NLC, Comrade Joe Ajaero has accused federal lawmakers of acting the script of governors.
Comrade Ajaero was reacting to the bid by federal lawmakers to decentralise minimum wage negotiation as the House of Representatives bill seeking to remove fixing and negotiation on minimum wage from the Exclusive List to the Concurrent List passed second reading on Tuesday.
The intention of the bill sponsored by Garba Datti Mohammed (APC Kano) is to allow both the federal and state governments to freely negotiate minimum wage “with their workers in line with our federalism”.
Reacting to the development, Comrade Ajaero vowed that Labour would resist the move the way it did under Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan’s administrations.
According to him, without a unified national minimum wage, most workers in the country would be receiving peanuts as wage.
“They are trying to create a very dangerous precedent where a worker or a Nigerian living in Lagos will not be equal to a Nigerian living in Abuja or living in Owerri ( Imo state). Where lies the power of equality before the law?
“I will advise the National Assembly not to allow themselves to be used. For instance, as at the time the minimum wage was increased to N30, 000 the workers in Zamfara state were still receiving as low as N12, 000. They were not even receiving N18, 000 minimum wage.
“What the National Assembly is trying to tell me is that the workers in such state will continue to be poorly paid when their counterparts in other states will do better.
“Labour will reject it because it is against the fundamental principles of federalism.”