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Minimum wage: Industrial crisis looms in public service

By Johnbosco Agbakwuru

The Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council (JNPSNC) Tuesday, called on Nigerians to appeal to the Federal Government to implement the new minimum wage with adequate consequential adjustment to avoid the looming industrial crisis.
Minimum Wage, Buhari
Labour leaders during the rally to create awareness on the new Minimum Wage for workers organised by the Nigeria Labour Congress
The call came about 24 hours after the meeting between the representatives of the organised labour and that of government ended without reaching an agreement by the two parties on the consequential adjustment.
The organised labour under the umbrella of Trade Union Side, TUS have raised the alarm that there was no willingness from the government to implement the new N30, 000 Minimum Wage.
Acting Chairman of TUS, Comrade Anchaver Simon, and Secretary, Comrade Alade Lawal, in a statement in Abuja said that efforts by the unions to persuade the government to implement the new wage with appropriate consequential adjustment had proved abortive.
They said that the TUS had given the government enough time to come to term with workers’demand but appeared that the only language necessary for the government to act was struck.
They said the union would give no further notice to the government before public servants in the state commence strike over non-implementation of the new minimum wage and appropriate consequential adjustment.

Also read: Public Service Negotiating Council begs Buhari to assent to minimum wage bill

According to the statement, “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 further noted that the Consequential Adjustment Committee had on September 3 agreed that the proposal of the TUS is forwarded to the president to see the patriotic position of labour and approve appropriate consequential adjustment accordingly.
It said, “When the meeting reconvened on September 16, 2019 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 has rated the poorest country in the whole world and yet the government is refusing to implement a minimum wage for Nigerian workers to lift millions of citizens out of poverty,.”
Meanwhile, the TUS stated that the Trade Union Congress of Nigerian and the Nigeria Labour Congress had been briefed on the breakdown of negotiation in respect of consequential adjustment arising from the new N30,000 monthly National Minimum Wage.

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