Strike Imminent As Labour Gives FG 2 Weeks To Resolve Minimum Wage Impasse

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The leadership of organised labour has given the Federal Government one week for its team to resume discussion on the negotiation of the consequential adjustment for workers in order to conclude the process.

Labour said that the nonchalant attitude of the federal government negotiating team had dragged negotiations for consequential wages adjustment for workers unduly.

It also urged the government to 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.

It threatened to embark on strike if its demands were not met before the close of work on Wednesday 16th this month.

Labour’s positions were made known in a statement jointly signed by the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Ayuba Wabba, President, Trade Union Congress, Quadri Olaleye, Ag. Chairman, Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council (JNPSNC-Trade Union Side), Simon Anchaver and JNPSNC Secretary, Alade Bashir Lawal after a meeting at Labour House, Abuja.

It noted that the offer by government for salary adjustment of 11 percent for public workers on salary grade level 07 – 14 and 6.5 percent consequential increase for public workers on grade level 15 – 17 was not acceptable to Nigerian workers.

It urged the government to enter into an agreement with labour to the effect that salary of officers on grade 07-14 should be reviewed upward by 29 percent while that of officers on grade level 15-17 should be reviewed upwards by 24 percent.

“We view the position of 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,” it said in the statement.

It said that organised labour had out of its patriotic disposition demonstrated a great deal of restraint, consideration and patience with government on the implementation of the minimum wage.

The statement reads: “At the end of our deliberation, the leadership of organized labour in Nigeria resolved as follows; The offer by government for salary adjustment of 11% for public workers on salary grade level 07 – 14 and 6.5% consequential increase for public workers on grade level 15 – 17 is not acceptable to Nigerian workers. We view the position of 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% while that of officers on grade level 15-17 should be reviewed upwards by 24%; 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.

“In conclusion, the leadership of organized labour in Nigeria wishes to categorically state that the leadership of labour cannot guarantee industrial peace and harmony in the country if our demands are not met at the close of work on Wednesday, 16th October, 2019.” (The Nation)

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