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Again TUC, NLC Disagree On Proposed  850,000 National Minimum Wage.

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Akaiso Akaiso, Uyo.

The discrepancy between Trade Union Congress (TUC) and Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on the right living wage for Nigerian workers came to a crescendo today during the South South zonal public hearing in Uyo, organized by The Tripartite Committee On National Minimum Wage (TCNMW).

While NLC South South zonal leadership represented by Akwa Ibom State chapter Chairman, Com. Sunny James proposed N850,000 (eight hundred and fifty thousand Naira only) as the living national minimum wage that can bring the Nigerian workers out of the present economic quackmire, his TUC counterpart , represented by Akwa Ibom State secretary, Kingsley Bassey suggested N447,000.00 ( Four hundred and forty seven thousand Naira only).

The proposal by Com. James, apart from receiving a standing ovation by the audience which had labour unionists in majority, was generally supported by most of the affiliates of NLC, while that of TUC representative was outrightly rebuffed with a massive shout down which took intervention of Ekpo Nta, Esq, secretary of NSIWC, a son of the soil to calm down the frayed nerves.

Speaking further, Sunny James called for impeachment and imprisonment of any Governor in South South who refuses to pay national minimum wage as he has no excuse, adding that minimum wage be retained in exclusive list of the legislature.

Recalled that TUC pulled out of the recent two day warning protest by NLC, even though the protest was however called off on the second day due to reason bordering on the same issue of differences between the two unions.

Little wonder the representative of the Akwa Ibom State traditional rulers council, Odidem Bassey Etim Edet chided the two bodies for not coming together, warning them to  realize that if they can’t reason as one it will be difficult for them to negotiate successfully with government as people can hardly eat three square meals these days.

Governor Umo Eno who was represented by Akwa Ibom State Head of Civil service, Elder Effiong Essien, assured that his administration will implement any amount that would be agreed as the new national minimum wage.

Eno who promised to continue to prioritize the welfare of Akwa Ibom workeers, said since he came on board he had so far paid out N14. 7bn to settle gratuity of retired civil servants and other sundry backlogs of what government was owing.

Responding to the questions, Ekpo Nta assured the gathering that the commission will be transparent and fair in discharge of its duties and disposed to receiving well researched papers and constructive suggestions. Attendees covered federal, state government workers, organized labour and general public.

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