Fresh Crisis Looms as Workers Serve Strike Notice over Minimum Wage


Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

Following the refusal of the federal government to implement the new national minimum wage, workers yesterday threatened to embark on fresh strike.

Already, eight industrial unions in the public services of the federal and 36 state governments under the aegis of the Trade Union Side (TUS) of the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council (JNPSNC) said it “has commenced mobilisation of its members nationwide to prepare them for the next line of action.”

But they said a meeting of officials of the TUS of the JNPSNC across the country was being arranged with the sole aim of “setting the records straight and at the same time preparing for appropriate trade union measures to be deployed to get justice for public service employees.”

While alerting Nigerians on the imminent strike, the TUS acting Chairman, Simon Anchaver; and Secretary, Alade Lawal, in a strike notice in Abuja, said they “may have to embark on industrial action if the current state of affairs as regards the issue of consequential adjustment arising from the new national minimum wage of N30,000.00 per month remains the same.”

“The government has a predetermined position and only called labour in to rubberstamp its hidden agenda. With this turn of event, it is quite clear now that some fifth columnists in this administration are hell-bent on pushing President Muhammadu Buhari to enter into a collision course with millions of Nigerian workers in the public service. This is very sad.

“It is indeed perplexing that political office holders whose monthly take-home pay runs into millions of naira, are the ones working behind the scene to ensure that public service employees, especially core civil servants continue to receive starvation wages.

“This is why the eight trade unions in the public service have resolved that enough is enough and that if the federal government fails to call its officials to order and direct them to negotiate openly the issue of consequential adjustment arising from the new national minimum wage, millions of workers at the federal and 36 states public services will have no other alternative than to take some necessary trade union actions to seek redress. The time for President Buhari to act is now.”

The workers regretted that since the committee set up early this month by the government to work out the consequential adjustments arising from the new national minimum wage of N30,000 started to meet, the government has been playing politics with the intent of scuttling the implementation of the new new national minimum wage signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, April 18, 2019.

“As things are right now, the government side is only prepared to pay peanuts to workers as an adjustment under the pretext that it will soon be undertaking general salary review in the public service,” the workers stated.