Organised Labour has commenced mobilization of its members nationwide to embark on strike action if the current state of affairs with the N30,000 minimum wage is not resolved.
The labour leaders accused the Federal Government of planning to shortchange them even though there was a decision reached.
The organised labour operating under the aegis of the Trade Union Side (TUS) of the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council (JNPSNC), eight unions in the public services of the federal and 36 state governments, wants the federal government to ensure that the issue of consequential adjustment arising from the new national minimum wage of N30,000 per month remains the same.
In a press statement in Abuja, the acting chairman of the TUS, Anchaver Simon, and the secretary, Alade Lawal, expressed disappointment over government’s alleged effort to derail the implementation of a new national minimum wage.
“As things are right now, the government side is only prepared to pay peanuts to workers as adjustment under the pretext that it will soon be undertaking general salary review in the public service,” the statement said.
According to the labour leaders, the TUS had initially proposed that since the minimum wage was increased by 66.66% from N18,000.000 to N30,000.00, salaries for officers on ‘Grade Levels 01-17’ should be adjusted accordingly to maintain the relativity that exists in the salary structure in the public service.
“But when the government side argued that such increase across board would raise the total wage bill too high, the TUS side reviewed its demand downward and eventually settled for 30% for officers on ‘Grade Levels 07-14’ and 25% for those on ‘Grade Levels 15-17’.
“The government side on its part was insisting on 9.5 percent salary raise for employees on ‘Grade Levels 07-14’ and 5% for those on ‘Grade Levels 15-17’.
“The two sides then agreed to capture the two positions in the technical committee’s report which will now be presented for discussion at the plenary,” the statement added.
The TUS said it, however, received a rude shock at the last meeting of the technical committee when the government side began to hold on to a non-existent position.
The leaders lamented that the implication of government’s position was that the technical committee cannot go beyond what the government was pushing for which is 9.5 percent salary increase for officers on ‘GL 07-14’ and 5% for those on ‘GL 15-17’.
“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,” the union stated.