…Civil servants becoming very restive, labour warns
By Victor Young
After over two months of inaction following July 27, deadlock in negotiation between the Federal Government and Organised Labour over the consequential adjustment arising from the N30, 000 new National Minimum Wage, NMW, the two parties will Wednesday resume what is considered a make-or-mar meeting.
Already, feelers are worried that if a compromise is not reached at the meeting, the consequences may be very grave for the country as civil servants and other public workers are said to have lost patience with the protracted negotiations and government’s apparent rigid stance.
Speaking to Vanguard, a member of Labour negotiating team and President of Nigeria Civil Service Union, NCSU, Amaechi Lawerence, said he hoped government team would bring something reasonable and realistic to the table this time around for amicable resolution.
Lawerence, who is also a Vice President of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, said that the the July 27 meeting that was deadlocked; the government team was asked to get President Muhammadu Buhari’s mandate and intervention for the issue to be put behind and for implementation to commence in earnest.
He said: “Yes, we are resuming negotiations on , September 4, 2019. And We sincerely hope, we can reach a compromise at Wednesday’s meeting because the consequence of another deadlock may be very grave for the country. I can tell you that workers are very restive and have lost their patience. We see tension everywhere because they cannot understand why the negotiations for consequence adjustment can be holding the implementation of a new national minimum wage that was signed into by the President since April 18.
”The government side has been rigid despite our flexible position. We hope they come with a more reasonable and realistic position when we resume for us to arrive at a compromise and put this issue behind use for implementation to commence in earnest. At the last meeting that was deadlocked, the government side was advised to go to Mr President to get a fresh mandate and his personal intervention because it is obvious that the government side has no mandate to go beyond the unrealistic position that they brought to the table.”
Recall that a week after the July 27, deadlock, the Labour side on the aegis of the Trade Union Side, TUS, of the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council, JNPSNC, alerted the nation that it might be forced to call public workers for a nationwide industrial action over the issue.
JNPSNC is made up representatives of the federal government, 36 states of the federation and Abuja, and eight unions in the Public Services of the Federal and 36 states, including Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, ASCSN, Nigeria Civil Service Union, NCSN, and others.