Labour Kicks As Kano Govt Reverts To Old Minimum Wage
The Organised Labour in Kano State has rejected the decision of the state government to revert to the old minimum wage of N18,000.
Naija News had reported that the state government had announced on Wednesday that it has stopped the payment of the new minimum wage of N30,000.
According to the Special Adviser on Media to Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano, Salihu Tanko Yakasai, the state government has reverted to the initial minimum wage due to the recession caused by COVID-19.
Reacting, Chairman of Joint Negotiation Council (JNC) of the organised labour in the state, Comrade Hashim Saleh, said the decision is illegal and does not follow due process.
Saleh stressed that labour was not carried along and even reached out to the government in December to stop the deductions of workers’ salaries.
The labour leader noted that the state government never disclosed that they did not have money or the state is broke.
“In November 2020, they just went ahead without our knowledge and consent.
“They just deducted the money, which is contrary to the signed agreement of the salary structure in accordance with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention.
“They did this without following due process,” he said.
Saleh said the union wrote a letter to the government to stop the deduction and refund the already deducted money after discovering that the state is buoyant.
He said: “After making a series of investigations, we (the JNC) wrote a letter to the government to stop the deduction and refund the already deducted money.
“We cited an authority to back this demand up. We sent the letter through the Office of the Head of Service to the governor. We copied all the relevant stakeholders.
“The government invited us in December – myself, the chairman NLC, the chairman TUC and all stakeholders, even those not under the JNC and TUC were also in the meeting.
“They (government) told us they have financial problems and we told them there was no such thing as a financial problem so far.
“During our negotiation, the income shared by the federal government was less than N600 billion but in November 2020, FG shared over N600 billion.
“So, we did not agree with the position that there was no money.
“Even during the COVID-19 lockdown, we were the ones that agreed that all civil servants should contribute 10% of their salaries because there was lockdown, but in this case, there is no lockdown at all.
“Even the government is generating revenue from different businesses including PAYE.
“So, we were not satisfied with their position that the government does not have money. And we also did not agree to any deduction in December salaries.”
Speaking on the next step to be taken by organised labour, Saleh said the position of the union would be made public after a crucial meeting next week.
“At the moment, we are doing underground work to ensure that we compel the government to return to the normal payment of salaries in the state because what they are doing is illegal,” he said.