Public Service Unions Threaten Industrial Action over Minimum Wage

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Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council (JNPSNC) has urged the federal government to implement the new minimum wage with appropriate consequential adjustment or face a possible industrial action.

It also urged Nigerians to appeal to the federal government to implement the new minimum wage with adequate consequential adjustments to avoid industrial crisis.

The organised labour under the auspices of the Trade Union Side (TUS) of the council stated this yesterday following failure to reach an agreement with the government on the modalities for the implementation of the new minimum wage.

It said the unions would give no further notice to the government before public servants in the country commence strike over non-implementation of the new minimum wage and appropriate consequential adjustment.

TUS, in a joint statement by its Acting Chairman, Mr. Anchaver Simon, and the Secretary, Mr. Alade Lawal, said efforts by the unions to persuade government to implement the new minimum wage with appropriate consequential adjustment had proved abortive.

He added that the TUS had given the government enough time to come to term with workers’ demand but appeared that the only language necessary for government to act is strike.

“It has become imperative to alert the general public that all efforts by the trade unions to persuade the government to implement the new N30,000 monthly National Minimum Wage signed into Law by President Muhammadu Buhari on April 18, 2019 with appropriate consequential adjustment, had been frustrated by government,” the statement said.

TUS added that the Consequential Adjustment Committee had on September 3 agreed that the proposal of the TUS be forwarded to the President to see the patriotic position of labour and approve appropriate consequential adjustment accordingly.

“When the meeting reconvened on September 16 to get a feedback on the expected approval from the President, government officials brought a fresh proposal of 11 per cent pay rise for officers on Grade Levels 07 to 14, instead of the earlier position of 10 per cent and 6.5 per cent for those on grade levels 15 to 17 instead of the former 5.5 per cent.

“As we write, Nigeria is rated the poorest country in the whole world and yet government is refusing to implement a minimum wage for Nigerian workers to lift millions of citizens out of poverty,” TUS lamented.

Meanwhile, TUS has said it has briefed the Trade Union Congress of Nigerian and the Nigeria Labour Congress on the breakdown of negotiation in respect of consequential adjustment arising from the new N30,000 monthly National Minimum Wage and is awaiting further instructions.