Oshiomhole Backs Labour’s Clamour for Living Wages

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Dike Onwuamaeze

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congresss (APC) Adams Oshiomhole, has thrown his weight behind labour unions fighting for living wages for the workers.

“I am hundred percent in support of the trade union movement in terms of fighting for not just wage increase but for a living wage,” Oshiomhole said.

Speaking last night on Channels TV, the APC chairman described as unfortunate the system that made it impossible for workers to have a car or home of their own from their dint of hard work without resorting to corruption.

“You cannot have an economy in which even the most gifted and dedicated civil servant cannot afford a car or a home there is today not one honest civil servant that can after putting in 30 years in service can earn a wage such that one year salary or even two years salaries can buy him a new car.

“To be a director is not a night flights. It can take 25 years or more. And yet he cannot boost of a decent house he can call his home from his wages if he chooses not to resort to those practices we can define as corrupt”.

He advised government to understand that salary management requires seasoned professionals with the competency to administer salaries.

“Over the years, particularly in the public service ,government has not even begin to appreciate that salary administration is a matter for experts. It needs seasoned personnel managers to determine your employment and renumeration levels and ensure that you pay a competitive compensation in order to attract and retain the best workers.”

“The other argument, which needs to be addressed is people paying according to their ability. But it is not the only criteria. We must also take into consideration the cost of living. These two must be reconciled. If your ability is N1 and my need to survive is N10, will you be underpaying so that I will die?

“I think that the government must accept its own responsibility to sit down and recruit the right expertise. And revisit the orgonagram. And determine what ought to be their minimum level of payment.

“But he who must employ has the sole responsibility both in law and morality to pay not just wage but to pay a living wage.

“I am embarrassed every year when I hear that we are paying ghost workers, which is a nasty word to describe huge fraud in salary administration. Some persons need to be arraigned in courts to explain where they found the ghosts.”