Minimum wage: NLC intervenes in Rivers, workers’ feud

THERE are indications that the feud between the Rivers State Government and the Nigeria Labour Congress in the state over minimum wage may soon come to an end following the intervention of labour at the national level.

The NLC in the state had threatened to issue an ultimatum to the state government if nothing was done to resolve the controversy surrounding the payment of the minimum wage in January.

Recall that labour in the state had maintained that what was paid to workers fell short of their expectation and urged the government to begin a discussion with the state NLC on the controversy surrounding the implementation of the minimum wage.

It was, however, gathered that the national leadership of the NLC and the Trade Union Congress had visited Rivers with the aim of intervening in the feud.

A source close to labour in the state had told our correspondent that the national leadership of the state met with the State Governor, Nyesom Wike, on Saturday, adding that the meeting will bring about the resolution of the matter.

“On Saturday, the national leadership of NLC and TUC met with the governor for the resolution of the minimum wage controversy. I believe the intervention of labour at the national level will help to resolve this problem,” the source said.

When contacted on Monday, the State NLC Chairperson, Beatrice Itubo, told The PUNCH that the intervention of labour’s national leadership on Saturday opened a window for discussion, adding that government was expected to take the right action on the minimum wage issue.

Itubo said, “There is a window for us to discuss this week. We are just hoping that at the end of this week, we would have finished discussion. When we ask for a thing and there is a breakdown in the discussion, we will give an ultimatum.

“We did not give ultimatum on Monday because our national leaders came; and there is another window to discuss. Our leaders have come and we have to respect them to make sure that we continue the discussion. You see, if they fail to discuss with us this week, then we will know what to do next.

“On this minimum wage issue, we cannot speak for government; all I know is that we will impress it on them to do the right thing. If they did not do the right thing, we have something we can do to push our demand.”

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