Minimum wage hike a 'balancing act' for region

Posted June 01, 2017

On his part, Rotimi Agunsoye (APC-Lagos) who described the current N18,000 national minimum wage as inadequate for the survival of an average Nigerian worker, argued that failure to review the minimum wage could further trigger corrupt practices among workers.

"We won't see big impact on poverty", she said, largely because most minimum wage earners are "very young or very old".

The increase would be phased in, starting with $9 an hour in January and hitting $15 by 2022.

The history of the federal minimum wage dates to 1938 when it was first instated at 25¢ per hour.

This will give more than a quarter of employees in the province a pay increase and will help ensure that more workers are benefitting from Ontario's economic growth.

‎Hon Gbajabiamila ‎while speaking said that, "year in year out people clamour for increment in the minimum wage".

"If you're lucky enough to work full-time, making the state's minimum wage right now at $8.25, that gets you at a little more than $16,000 year", he says.

Another caveat is states that enact their own minimum wage above the federal standard.

"You can not say you are fighting corruption without giving the people the leeway to put bread on their tables", Gbajabiamila stressed.

Personal emergency leave would also be expanded.

Gbajabiamila, who doubles as the house leader, also blamed the continuous clamour for increased minimum wage by workers across the country on inflation.

His concerns have been echoed by groups such as the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

"We are shocked and appalled that the government is broadsiding small business owners with a 32-per-cent increase in the minimum wage within only one-and-a-half years", said CFIB director Julie Kwiecinski. The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, is proposing N56,000. "Small businesses, who don't share the larger profit margins of big business, will be forced to make hard choices".

He said the minimum wage per day for unskilled category has been fixed at Rs 189, for semi-skilled category, the minimum wage has been fixed at Rs 201, for skilled category, the minimum wage has been fixed at Rs 212 and for highly-skilled category, the minimum wage per day has been fixed at Rs 235.

Labour Minister Kevin Flynn said the government will table legislation before the house rises for the summer this week, with plans to send it to committee for consultations around the province over the summer.

"This money that goes to bread, it goes to diapers, it goes to bus fares, it goes to rent", he said.

Giroux says the minimum wage increase is certainly a positive but he believes the Ontario government needs to follow through with a complete modernization of the labour laws in Ontario.