Minimum Wage: Strike looms as Labour threatens strike, gives FG 14-day ultimatum

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Minimum Wage: Strike looms as Labour threatens strike, gives FG 14-day ultimatum

Organised labour has threatened to call their members out for industrial action if the government failed to act at the expiration of the two-week ultimatum given the Federal Government. 

Leadership of organised labour, comprising the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) gave government an October 16 ultimatum to resolve all issues surrounding the consequential adjustment of salaries for the implementation of the minimum wage.

The decision was contained in a communique issued after the leadership was briefed at the Labour House, Abuja, by members of the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council (JNPSNC).

In the communique signed by NLC President Ayuba Wabba, his TUC counterpart Quadri Olaleye, JNPSNC Chairman, Simon Anchaver and Secretary Alade Bashir Lawal, the unionists said they cannot guarantee industrial harmony if their demands are not met at the close of work on October 16.

The union rejected the government offer for salary adjustment of 11 per cent for workers on grade level 07-14 and 6.5 per cent consequential increase for workers on grade level 15 – 17.

The communique reads: “We view the position of the government as a show of insensitivity to the plight of workers and an attempt to collect with the left hand what government had offered with the right hand.

“We demand the reconvening of the meeting of the committee negotiating the consequential adjustment with a view to concluding the process that started on the 28th of May, 2019 within one week.

“Entering into an agreement with labour to the effect that salary of officers on grade 07-14 should be reviewed upward by 29 per cent while that of officers on grade level 15-17 should be reviewed upwards by 24 per cent and commence immediate implementation of the signed agreement on consequential adjustment of public workers’ salaries with effect from 18th of April 2019 when the new national minimum wage of N30, 000 per month was signed into law.”

The unions said that negotiations for the consequential adjustment of wages dragged unduly because of “the nonchalant attitude of the government negotiating side”, adding that workers have exercised tremendous patience and restraint already.

According to the union, “in the course of negotiations for consequential salary adjustment, organised labour had to moderate its initial position of having 66.6 per cent upward salary adjustment for workers on salary grade level 07 – 17 by accepting an upward adjustment of 29 per cent for officers on salary level 07-14 and 24 per cent adjustment for officers on salary grade level 15 – 17.

“Despite this patriotic gesture, government has kept insisting that it can only pay 11 per cent for officers on grade level 07 – 14 and 6.5 per cent consequential wage increase to public workers for officers on level 15-17.”

The meeting was convened to receive briefing from the JNPSNC and to discuss the way forward on the deadlock in negotiations for consequential salary adjustment for public sector workers following arising enactment of the new national minimum wage of thirty thousand naira.

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