TUC demands payment of outstanding balance of minimum wage in C/River

The Trade Union Congress (TUC) in Cross River on Tuesday urged the state government to implement Federal Government’s minimum wage fully.

The Federal Government approval N30,000 as minimum wage to workers in 2019.

Speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Calabar, TUC’s state chapter chairman, Mr Monday Ogbodum, decried the long delay by the state government to implement the scheme.

He said it was disheartening that the state government had continually cited economic challenges as the excuse not to implement the scheme.

“The contentious issue here is the yet-to-be-released balance of N100 million from the N250 million as negotiated and agreed upon by stakeholders, including the government.

“We had agreed that Grade Level 01 to Grade Level 06 workers would enjoy the full minimum wage while Grade Levels 07 to Grade Level 17 workers would have percentage increases, depending on their grade levels.

“While Grade Level 07 workers would have 10 per cent increase, Grade Levels 08 and 09 would have 9 per cent and 8 per cent increases, respectively.

“Similarly, Grade Levels 10 to Grade Level 17 workers were to have 6 per cent increase.

“Everything was worked out and it amounted to N250 million but the government released N150 million, with a promise to release the balance once the economy improves.

“It’s been almost three years after and we are yet to get this balance.

“This administration is the most favoured since the country’s return to democracy in 1999. It has gotten more money than any government since 2019,’’ he said.

Reacting to the demand, the government said it was not undermining workers’ patience and understanding, but that the economy was still hazy, hence, its inability  to release the balance of N100 million.

Mr Effiong Umoh, Special Adviser on Labour to the governor, who stated this, told NAN that workers’ welfare remained government’s top priority. 

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