The Minister of Labour and Employment Sen. Chris Ngige has called on Labour Unions to establish an inspectorate division that can work in collaboration with the Inspectorate Department of the Ministry to ensure faithful implementation of the new Minimum Wage.
Ngige said this divisions will also work together to guard against unfair labour practices, especially in the private sector.
The Minister made the call, when meeting the leadership of the United Labour Congress (ULC) who paid him a courtesy call in Abuja.
Ngige said: “Our new strategy is to encourage trade unions to create an inspectorate arm that will work hand in hand with our Inspectorate Department in all the states. They are to work together; go into factories, companies and industries and look at their books to know what salaries workers are earning.
“With that, we will be sure Nigerians are not underpaid and with that also, we shall ensure that the new Minimum Wage and its consequential adjustment are being implemented faithfully.”
Responding to the union’s demand for the registration of the ULC as a Trade Centre, the Minister commended their patience and understanding, noting that the Ministry would continue to uphold the provisions of Section 40 of the Constitution on freedom of association including unionization but stressed that the registration of the ULC must be done within the confines of the law.
According to the minister: “We are not saying you won’t be registered. We want to register you within the confines of the law. Section 35 of the Trade Union Act is very clear on the requirements and process for the registration of new Labour Centre. Though I agree with you that some of the labour laws need amendment but until they are amended, they remain the extant law and all and sundry must obey it.
“Am excited you said your number is now thirty-seven. The last time you made application, it was sixteen .It means you are growing from strength to strength and that the only thing you need to do now is to conform to that aspect of the law; section 35 of the Trade Union Act that requires you to have twelve brand new unions.”
The President of the ULC, Comrade Joe Ajaero called for the liberalization of labour movements in the country to make it easy to register new unions as well as form new labour centres, regretting the non-registration of the ULC after years of application.
He argued that the ULC was a child of circumstance formed to escape the suffocating disagreements in the Nigeria Labour Congress and urged the Minister to facilitate the registration of unions under it whose applications have been pending before him.Read Full Story