By Dennis Agbo
TRADE Union Congress, TUC, has threatened that it would be left with no other option than commence action if negotiations on the approval of salary chart for the implementation of the new minimum wage of N30,000.00 goes into another deadlock.
Enugu state Chairman of TUC, Comrade Igbokwe Chukwuma Igbokwe made the disclosure, Wednesday, while reacting to the labour negations going on in Abuja.
He said that the organised labour has had enough of foot-dragging and would embark on action which definitely will culminate in strikes and demonstrations.
Igbokwe said “We have only one alternative and that is action. If the negotiations should deadlock this time around, and our principals in Abuja summon us for a National Executive Council, NEC, meeting and then we’ll take a decision and decide on what action to take.When we meet, we’ll weigh the options and take a decision that will cut across the country and it will be total.”
He however expressed optimism that now that the Head of Service, Mrs. Eyo Ita has resumed duty and reconvened the negation, he hoped that acceptable salary chart would be reached.
According to him, what labour is asking for is not much and government should reconsider its position to allow for the smooth implementation of the minimum wage that had been passed into law since April.
“Our expectation this time around is that government should hasten the demand of the labour. What labour is asking for is not much. A worker who is on level 7 – 14 is given 29% increase on their gross income, as well as somebody on level 15- 17 who has put in so much years in service, is it so much?
“The total package is not even as much as one unit of allowance for the political office holders. Our expectation is that the committee will reach an agreement and once an agreement is reached and signed, the Salary and Wages Commission will prepare a salary chart that will be acceptable and minimum wage will commence.
“The Minimum Wage bill was passed since April and since then arrears have started running. So, when we know what is being paid, we’ll now know what the arrears will amount to,” Igbokwe said.