South Africa introduces $260 monthly minimum wage.

South Africa will introduce a national minimum wage of 3,500 rand (261 dollars) per month in 2018, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Thursday, following protracted negotiations between the government and labour unions.

Supporters of a minimum wage say it can stimulate growth as workers can spend more, as well as reducing inequality.

Critics say it could lead to increased unemployment as employers will be unable to afford higher wage bills.

Credit ratings agencies have said agreeing a minimum wage would help Africa’s most industrialised economy hold onto its investment-grade rating by stabilising the labour market and reducing the number of strikes.

“The balance we have sought to strike is that it must not be too low, so that it doesn’t affect the lowest paid workers, but not too high that it leads to massive job losses,” Ramaphosa told a news conference.

Ramaphosa said the national minimum wage, which equates to 20 rand (1.50 dollars) per hour, would come into effect in May 2018.

Businesses that are unable to afford the minimum wage would be permitted to apply for an exemption of up to 12 months, Ramaphosa said.

The Treasury had also thrown its political weight behind the policy initiative.

Chief economist at Nedbank Dennis Dykes said the agreement was a sign of an improving relationship between labour, business and government, but warned that its implementation needed to be monitored.

“It is by no means certain this will lead to job creation.

“It needs to be watched carefully for any negative effects,” Dykes said.

Monthly earnings for employees averaged 18,045 rand (1,200 dollars) per month in May 2016, according to Statistics.

Many workers earn far less than that, with domestic workers and farm labourers among the lowest paid.

Some unions had asked for a minimum wage of as much as 4,500 rand.

South Africa’s mining sector was brought to its knees by a crippling five-month stoppage over pay in 2014,pushing the economy to the brink of a recession.

South Africa’s unemployment rate hit its highest level on record, 27.1 per cent of the workforce, in the third quarter of 2016, and it remains amongst the world’s most unequal societies.


Source: Reuters

Venezuelan government raises minimum wage to ‘kick-start the year’.

President Nicolas Maduro has raised the minimum wage of Venezuelan workers by 50 percent — the fifth of such raise since February 2016.

Announcing the raise via state TV on Sunday, Maduro said it is “fair and necessary… to continue to protect jobs, stability, the right to work, to an income and to pensions”.

“To start the year, I have decided to raise salaries and pensions. In times of economic war and mafia attacks … we must protect employment and workers’ income,” said the socialist president.

“As the president of the republic, I am promoting dialogue, I am facilitating dialogue, I am married to [the idea of] national dialogue,” he added, signalling his readiness to dialogue with critics of his government.

Following the hike, minimum wage is expected to be 40,683 bolivars (£49, $60, N18,300) at the official exchange rate.

The raise is coming at a time when the International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasts that the country’s inflation would hit four digits, to rise as much as 1,600 percent in 2017.

The opposition party says Maduro’s “utter management” of the economy has seen inflation skyrocket to over 500 percent in 2016, and the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) shrink by 12 percent.

In 2015, the country’s inflation hit 181 percent but the government has since stopped releasing inflation and GDP figures.

Venezuela, with one of the world’s largest oil reserves, was heavily-hit by the crash in crude oil prices.

Labour Wants FG To Negotiate Minimum Wage

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) yesterday urged the federal government to urgently reconstitute the tripartite committee to negotiate a new minimum wage in view of the current economic recession facing the country.
NLC president, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, who gave the advice at the 59th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the congress in Lagos, said the National Minimum Act should be renegotiated every five years as agreed by the tripartite partners.

He said: “The developments within the economy which has made nonesense of the purchasing power of workers, makes the case for a new minimum wage urgent.

Credit: dailytrust

NLC To Present N48,000 Minimum Wage

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) will soon propose a new minimum wage to the federal government following the decline in the value of naira, the Secretary General, Nigerian Union of Textile Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN), Comrade Issa Aremu, has said.
Aremu spoke yesterday on the sidelines of a policy dialogue on naira devaluation in Lagos said the current N18000 is no longer sustainable and the NLC would propose N48, 000 as minimum wage.

He said governors and employers of labour who fail to pay salaries should resign and be prosecuted.
He recalled that the first minimum wage was N125 in 1981 when the naira was about twice the value of the dollar and this translated to 250 dollars.
“The minimum wage has declined to 60 dollars. It has to move to N48,000. That is why the NLC is ready to prepare to submit our new proposal and this will be done, I tell you, whether through struggle, we will get that result.
“We are one of the poorest countries in the world. Ghanaians stand better than us. Workers’ wage is to turn the economy around and in spite of that some governors are still not paying as and when due. That’s why I said any governor or any employer that doesn’t pay salaries should resign and not only that, he should be prosecuted because the Nigerian constitution is very clear that they should pay salaries as at when due”, he said.
He said it was high time Nigeria began to consume what is produced locally in order to reduce reliance on foreign exchange and provide employment for the unemployed.

Credit: dailytrust

NULGE Appeals To Borno On N18,000 Minimum Wage

The Borno chapter of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) on Sunday renewed its call on the state government to implement the N18, 000 minimum wage to all Local Government workers in the state.



Malam Nuhu Saidu, the Borno NULGE Acting Secretary, said this in a communique issued at the end of the union’s State Executive Council (SEC) meeting in Maiduguri.


Saidu stated that the non-implementation of the minimum wage for the workers had brought hardship.


“Our members have been pauparised by the refusal of the state government to implement the minimum wage at the Local government level.


“This is because the cost of living has risen tremendously, but our pay has remained very small,” he said.


Saidu said that the state government had a duty to ensure the welfare of workers at the councils by implementing the minimum wage.


“We are renewing our appeal on Gov. Kashim Shettima to approve the payment of N18,000 minimum wage to all workers in the 27 Local Government Councils (LGCs) in the state.


“There is no gainsaying that the council workers in the state deserve to be paid the minimum wage as a right, just like their counterparts in the state civil service,” he said.


Saidu also demanded the payment of all promotion arrears to the council workers from 2009 till date.




Kwara Won’t Reduce Minimum Wage — Gov. Ahmed

Gov. Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara says his administration will continue to pay the N18,000 minimum wage inspite of the drop in revenue earnings.


Ahmed gave the assurance at the inauguration of an auditorium at the Michael Imoudu National Institute of Labour Studies, Ilorin.


“The state government is committed to the security and welfare of its workforce despite the current controversy about the proposed downward review of the minimum wage to workers in Nigeria.


“I am happy to announce that the state government is still committed to the continued payment of the minimum wage as it is notwithstanding the dwindling monthly allocations from the Federation Account,’’ Ahmed said.


The state government, he said, was also set to introduce the Contributory Pension Scheme in order to check post retirement pension challenges.


He said it was becoming increasingly impossible to sustain the present pension model where the state government was solely responsible for workers’ pension.


The governor described the Contributory Pension Scheme as result-oriented and affordable, saying it would be easy for beneficiaries to invest and get interest on their deposits.


“It is therefore necessary and in fact beneficial to adopt the more sustainable model of contributory pension in Kwara State,’’ he said.


The governor, who urged workers in the state to embrace the contributory pension model, said it would be beneficial to them and assist government in the judicious management of scarce resources.


The Director-General of the institute, Dr John Olarewaju, said the institution had been playing critical role in capacity development of the country’s labour force through various educational programmes.





Resign If You Cannot Pay Minimum Wage, NLC Tells Governors

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has asked any state governor in the country who cannot pay the N18,000 minimum wage to resign from office without delay.

The NLC insisted that the N18,000 minimum wage for Nigerian workers was not fixed but was negotiated through a tripartite system.
The National President of the NLC, Ayuba Wabba, made this declaration in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, at the weekend while speaking with journalists shortly after attending the Janazah prayers organised for the late wife of the former Vice-President of NLC, Mr. Issa Aremu, Hamdalah.

He also warned that any governor reneging on that agreement was breaking the law of the land, adding that such governor should resign from his position.
Wabba also  hailed the ongoing war against corruption by President Muhammadu Buhari, saying corruption had killed more people in the country than auto accidents.

“They have been misinforming the people about the N18,000 minimum wage. Minimum wage is not fixed, it was negotiated through a tripartite system; 10 state governors represented the governors, federal government and organised private sector were also represented. It was a tripartite process of collective bargaining.

“We had looked at all the indices of ability to pay. It is a law and anybody who refuses to pay is breaking the law of Nigeria and we advise such governor to resign.

“Why is it that the salary of councillors to the highest political office all over the country despite their inability to pay is the same? If there is economic challenge, why should it be the workers that will bear the burden? Councillors in least economic viable to the most economic viable states in the country earn the same salaries. So who are they fooling?

“Can they continue to fool us? When the resources were there workers were not enjoying. Now that there is a challenge in the system why should the burden be shifted only to the workers? That is not acceptable to us. This is like a battle for us as we must continue to insist that workers should work in dignity and there must be dignity in labour,” he posited.

Credit: ThisDay

Labour To Present New Minimum Wage Proposal To FG

The two labour centresin the country has unfolded plans to present a new minimum wage proposal to the Federal Government for promulgation into law, the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba, has disclosed.

Speaking at the sixth quadrennial national delegates conference of Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) in Abuja, Wabba said both the NLC Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) are currently working on the modalities on wage structure that would be in tune with the prevailing economic realities in the country.

He declared that the declaration of inability to pay in the face of dwindling fortune of the country by some governors would not deter labour from demanding a new minimum wage.

He argued that beside the fact that the National Minimum Wage Act is due for review after five years it become law, the current purchasing power of the Naira is making the N18, 000 minimum wage unsustainable.
The struggle to ensure the continuation of the payment of the N18, 000 by government has received a major backing of the Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole.

The Edo State Governor has vowed to lead protest by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) against any governor that attempts to reduce national minimum wage of N18, 000.

His words: “I have told my fellow governors that when the going gets tough, everybody will answer his father’s name. I am not and I will not support any government, any governor, federal or state that misunderstood the problem to focus on the weakest link. “Be assured that you can count on me. If you want to organize protest, I will join. I will not only join to protest against refusal to pay minimum wage, but to press for the idea of minimum wage to be sustained.”

Credit: Guardian

Why We Must Cut Minimum Wage Or Sack Workers- Nigerian Govs

Nigerian governors will eventually reduce the federal minimum wage of N18,000 or downsize because of the current economic crunch, the chairman of the body of governors has said.

The chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum and Zamfara state governor, Abdulaziz Yari, said on Thursday that irrespective of public condemnations of the plan, it would not be economically feasible to retain the same workforce and pay same amount of money.

According to him, funds allocated from the Federation Account could no longer sustain the expenses of the state as the internally generated revenue was still below par in some states.

Governors had two weeks ago declared that they could no longer cope with the N18, 000 minimum wage. The pronouncement caused a stir as Nigerians kicked against it.

The governors of Rivers and Edo rejected the plan.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Why Minimum Wage Should Not Be Reduced- Ben Bruce

Ben Murray Bruce has charged the thirty six governors of the country not to reduce the N18,000 minimum wage, stating that it is unjust for a government to contemplate reducing the workers pay.

In a twitter rant he hashtagged #Dontreduceminimumwage, the senator makes intellectual common sense as to why it should not be reduced. See his reasons in his tweets below:

Governors’ Attempt To Reverse Minimum Wage, A Declaration Of War- NLC

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has warned that attempts by the 36 governors of the federation to slash the N18,000 minimum wage over their inability to meet the wage obligations to workers will amount to a declaration of war.

In a statement on Sunday, NLC President, Mr. Ayuba Wabba, expressed concern over the move by the governors, who met under the auspices of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) last week and made the pronouncement at the end of their meeting, to reduce the minimum wage.
He said: “The Nigeria Labour Congress is shocked by the statement credited to the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, Governor Abdulaziz Yari, that the N18,000 national minimum wage promulgated into law in 2011 was no longer sustainable because of the fall in the price of crude oil.

“The governor who was speaking on behalf of his colleagues at the end of a meeting of the forum also claimed that the national minimum wage was ‘imposed’.

“We wish to make it abundantly clear that this attempt to reverse the national minimum wage is a declaration of war against the working people of this country, and we would have no alternative than to mobilise to respond to this act of aggression by the political class on our welfare.

“For the record, the 2011 National Minimum Wage Act came into existence after almost two years of agitation and negotiation by the tripartite of government (represented by both the federal and state governments), the Nigerian Employers Consultative Association (NECA) representing other employers (in the private sector) and organised labour.

“This is in the best tradition of a tripartite negotiation recognised and codified by the International Labour Organisation.

“As organised labour, we submitted a request for N52,000 and provided justification for it as the minimum wage which a worker and his recognised legal dependents need to live a healthy life over 30 to 31 days in a month.

Credit: ThisDay

Workers Threaten Showdown With Governors Over N18,000 Minimum Wage

Governors of the 36 states of the federation may face a major confrontation with Nigerian workers, following Thursday’s declaration that they would no longer be able to pay the N18,000 national minimum wage due to dwindling oil revenue.

The pronouncement has triggered stern objections by various workers’ groups in the country, with organized labour threatening to shut down the country should the governors insist on taking the decision.

The governors, who made the declaration at the end of the meeting of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF, in Abuja said the massive drop in global oil prices in recent times had drastically affected their states’ income.

Crude oil prices, which stood at about $62.16 per barrels at the beginning of May 2015, dropped to about $38.52 on Thursday.

The monthly Financial and Operations Report by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, for September 2015 showed that oil revenue payments to the Federation Accounts had consistently dwindled, from N102.99 billion in May; N101.96 in June; N77.4 billion in July; N76.18 billion in August to N73.25 billion in September.

Leaders of the various labour groups, including the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, have however warned against the ugly consequences the governors’ decision.

The President of the NLC, Ayuba Wabba, spoke in strong terms against the governors’ declaration, saying “Nigerian workers would vehemently and totally reject it.”

Mr. Wabba said the NLC would come out with a formal position at the end of its Central Working Committee, CWC, meeting on Friday.

Another labour leader, Joe Ajaero, dismissed the governors’ resolution as “empty threat that should be ignored.”

“The governors should not start a battle they would not sustain or finish, because Nigerian workers have the capacity to retrench them,” Mr. Ajaero said.

Credit: PremiumTimes

New York Protesters Demand $15 Minimum Wage

Thousands of demonstrators, including many fast-food workers, protested in New York on Wednesday demanding a minimum wage of $15 an hour to escape poverty in America’s largest city.

Fast-food workers held strikes in more than 230 American cities, joined by airport, construction and child care staff, as well as people working in education, organizers said, calling it the largest mobilization of underpaid workers in the US.

Between 10,000 and 15,000 took part in the New York protest, they said.

Pedro Gamboa, 58, is a baggage handler at JFK airport who works 40 hours a week and wakes up at 3:00 am to do it — earning $10.10 an hour.

“It’s not enough. You have to be a magician to survive on that,” said the Guatemalan-born family man. “Once you pay your bills, there is nothing left in your pockets.”

In New York, a first protest began at around 6:00 am outside a McDonald’s outlet in Brooklyn.

In Manhattan, fast-food workers were joined by students and activists, spreading out on the sidewalk outside another McDonald’s to demand better salaries, an AFP photographer said.

They held up placards proclaiming: “Why poverty,” “Fight for 15? and “Because the rent won’t wait.”

Workers say they are fed up with pay that does not come close to keeping them out of poverty and the threat of retaliation from employers hostile to them joining or forming unions.

On April 1, McDonald’s said that it was raising hourly pay to $1 above the local official minimum wage for 90,000 employees in company-owned restaurants, and would offer them paid time off.

The increase, however, does not apply to 660,000 employees working for restaurants owned by franchises, which comprise 90 percent of the 14,000 McDonald’s outlets across the United States.

“Rather than mollifying employees, the paltry pay move is attracting ridicule and inspiring even more workers to join the walkout,” strike organizers said.

The minimum wage in New York state is $8.75 an hour and due to rise to $9 in 2016.

There is a federal minimum wage of $7.25 but many US states have their own minimum wage.

New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer said in a report on Tuesday that even when adjusted for cost of living, New York’s minimum wage is the lowest of any major US city.

Pay of $15 an hour would save taxpayers $200-$500 million a year in food stamps and Medicaid spending, his report said.

San Francisco and Seattle have both adopted minimum wages of $15.

In August 2013, fast-food workers launched their first national day-long labor strike, in 60 cities, and their outcry has increasingly resonated in national politics.

President Barack Obama has faced stiff Republican opposition in his push for an increase in the minimum wage to $10.10 to lift hundreds of thousands of people above the poverty line.