No going back on strike – Labour insists - New minimum wage
Tiamiyu Saheed Oluwatosin
The organised labour has said it has not shifted grounds on its plan to embark on a nationwide strike should the government fail to meet its demands on or October 16.
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), had rejected the Federal Government’s offer to adjust the salaries of public workers on Grade Level 07 to 14 with 11 per cent consequential increase and 6.5 per cent for those on Grade Level 15 to 17.
NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, told the New Telegraph in Abuja that labour resolved to embark on strike to draw government’s attention on the need to reconvene and end negotiations that should have been concluded a long time ago to allow workers enjoy their new wage.
He insisted that government must see reason and holistically look at the issues raised to ensure the consequential adjustment of the new minimum wage impact on all workers across the various levels, while noting that labour was willing to dialogue with government
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Wabba said, “We had a discussion with the Joint Public Service Negotiating Council and we thought that there should be an end to every process of social dialogue, every process of negotiation must actually have an end.
“This issue has lingered and it seems like there is no way out of it and therefore we need to draw attention that this issue must be addressed and it cannot be addressed without bringing the people to the table.
“We have said that the meeting must be reconvened towards addressing the issue to a logical end and I think that is the best way in industrial relations and that is why we had to come together as organised labour to look at the issue and say well, this is not the first time we are doing minimum wage, we have a lot of empirical data to point to what is the consequential adjustment because this issue started in 1981.
“We must have a situation where this can impact all workers; we go to the same market both senior and junior workers, so these are issues that can be resolved on the table and labour is ready for dialogue to avoid the issue.
“Costs of goods and services have gone up, but salaries have remained the same, we must see reason to look at these issues holistically and address it.
“That is his position, we have had minimum wage from 1981 till date; let us interrogate the data and speak from the point of information not from the point of sentiment and lack of clear information.
“The demand is something that is a bit reasonable and I think that there is nothing out of point for workers to demand that; that is why industrial relations parley is about collective bargaining process; come with your facts and figures and we will come with our facts and figures and let the issues be addressed instead of just making statements that are incoherent and not addressing the issue.”
TUC General Secretary, Musa Lawal, added, “We have told our oppressors that we are going to start our war on October 16.
“They have not done anything now, so there is nothing for us to do, come October 16, people will know whether we are serious or not. So far, nothing has come from government.”
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