Reducing workers’ pay, work hours illegal – FG

Reducing workers’ pay, work hours illegal – FG
August 25 11:57 2016

The Minister of Labour and Employment,
Chris Ngige, has warned state governors
 against reducing the remunerations and hours
 of work of workers.
In a statement issued by Samuel Olowokere,
 deputy director press in the ministry, the
 minister said the warning was necessary to 
restore industrial harmony and forestall 
breakdown of law and order.

He said the warning followed protracted
  industrial crisis involving the Nigerian Labour
Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC)
 and Nasarawa State Government.
 The minister said the step was pursuant to the
 powers invested on him by section 5(1) and
(2) of the Trade Dispute Act, Laws of Nigeria,
 2004.

He said this was also predicated on a letter to
him by Gov. Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa
 State for the ministry to help resolve labour
 crisis in the state.
The minister said all parties had been invited
 for a crucial meeting on Wednesday by 2 p.m.
at the Ministry of Labour.
 He said, “Sequel to this, I hereby direct the
unions to suspend the proposed picketing of
 government offices and demonstrations.
“I enjoin all parties to maintain the status quo
ante pending the outcome of the meeting
 intended to resolve the issues in dispute.
“Similarly, to avoid further escalation of 
disputes of this type all over the states of the 
federation, state governments are hereby 
advised to always negotiate any issue that
touches on the salaries and wages of workers.

“This is in order to ensure that they obtain a
 Collective Bargaining Agreement (BCA) before 
these remunerations are tampered with.
“I wish to add for the avoidance of doubt that 
the issue of minimum wage flows out from the
Minimum Wage Act, 2011,” he said.
 Ngige said the law of the land must be
respected by all in both public and private
i nstitutions.
 He, however, said the issue of arbitrary
 reduction in the hours of work was against 
the International Labour Organisation (ILO)
 regulation; Convention 1, which had been 
adopted and domesticated by Nigeria.
 He said the law prescribes eight hours of
 work in a day and not more than 40 hours in 
a week.
 Ngige added that the caution had become
 necessary to draw the attention of all
 concerned to these issues in order to avoid 
unnecessary industrial disputes.

(NAN)