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Rivers Government, NLC Battle Over Minimum Wage

The Rivers State Government and the Nigeria Labour Congress in the state may be heading for a showdown over the new minimum wage.
The Rivers State Government and the Nigeria Labour Congress in the state may be heading for a showdown over the new minimum wage.

The Rivers State Government and the Nigeria Labour Congress in the state may be heading for a showdown over the new minimum wage.

Though the state government had begun the payment of the minimum wage in January, the state NLC maintained that what was paid as January salaries did not reflect the new national minimum wage.

The NLC also said it would not tolerate what it described as the nonchalant attitude of the state government towards its workers, even as it called on the state government to immediately reconvene a meeting of the Negotiation Committee on the National Minimum Wage.

However, the state government in a statement through the Commissioner for Information and Communications, Paulinus Nsirim challenged labour leaders in the state to make good its threat over the minimum wage.

Nsirim equally said it was unfortunate that the Beatrice Itubo-led executive of the NLC did not show appreciation over the payment of the new minimum wage, but allowed themselves to be used by politicians.

“The NLC leadership should come out clearly to tell Rivers people that they are politicians instead of hiding under the cover of labour to propagate their political agenda.

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“Rivers State Government has commenced the payment of the new minimum wage for employees of the state public service with the consequential salary adjustments as approved by the Federal Government, and will not be deterred by cheap blackmail.

“Governor Nyesom Wike remains committed to workers’ welfare and will not allow the activities of a few disgruntled elements to dissuade his resolve to serve the people,” the statement read.

Speaking with our correspondent, the state Chairperson of the NLC, Beatrice Itubo, said the government was insensitive to workers’ plight, adding that she had only canvassed for workers’ welfare.

Itubo said, “They are talking about politicians from Abuja sponsoring who?

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