Crisis is currently brewing at the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) as aggrieved Workers are threatening to down tools over alleged refusal to pay them the new Minimum Wage.
The staff of the commission are aggrieved by the fact that they are yet to benefit from the minimum wage which its implementation came into effect since April 2019, like their counterparts in other federal government establishments.
Findings by our correspondent, showed that the workers have vowed to down tools with effect from July 16, 2020, to back up their demand for their entitlements.
At the time of filing this report, a marathon meeting was said to be ongoing between the management and the workers over the protracted issue.
Regardless, the workers under the platform of the Nigeria Civil Service Union (NCSU) NHRC Unit led by Mr. Efem Atu and the management of the commission, under Mr. Tony Ojukwu, have not shifted grounds and therefore compounding the impending industrial action.
Although the human rights commission management was said to have agreed in principle to begin the implementation of the minimum wage payment from August this year, the conditions attached to the proposed payment were said to have been rejected by the workers.
Among others, the NHRC management was said to have proposed to cancel overtime bonuses, Christmas/Sallah bonuses, burial bonuses and wedding bonuses as well as office running cost to be able to conserve funds for the payment.
However, the workers on their part outrightly rejected the conditions for been unacceptable to them.
According to the workers, the action of the NHRC management, amounted to minimum wage payment with the right hand and minimum wage withdrawal with the left hand, insisting that their employer was not sincere to resolve the labour dispute occasioned by minimum wage dispute.
When contacted on the matter, the Chair of the Nigeria Civil Service Union, NHRC Unit, Mr. Efem Atu, confirmed that his members were not ready for anything other than full payment of the new minimum wage as of right.
He confirmed that the Nasiru Ladan-headed labour committee of the NHRC, had actually come out with conditions to cancel some bonuses, but said that the conditions were nothing but outright violation of workers’ rights, adding that except the human rights body accedes to their request, the workers will withdraw their services as from July 16.
“We are only waiting for the Federal executive council of our union billed to meet with the NHRC labour committee today (July 15), but I can confirm to you the resolution of our members that anything short of payment of the new minimum wage will not stop our planned industrial action.
“Our matter is pathetic, because it is our organisation that fights for the protection of the rights of other Nigerians, and here we are, unable to fight for our own rights, even on mere minimum wage payment that is a law that came into force since April last year. “