By Chinedu Adonu
Enugu State chairman of the Trade Union Congress, TUC, Comrade Igbokwe Chukwuma Igbokwe, has expressed gratitude with the amicable way organised labour and government reached a consensus on the Consequential Salary Adjustment to meet up with the new minimum wage.
Comrade Igbokwe pointed out that what matters most is the full implementation of minimum wage.
Recall that after a protracted duel on the modalities for the implementation of the new minimum wage which the Federal Government and some states have agreed to pay. Agreement was reached on a workable salary scale as workers on grade level 7 will now get an upward review of 23 per cent as against government’s earlier resolve of 11 per cent.
The government even broke it down to level 8, 20 per cent; 9, 19 per cent, 10 – 14, 16 per cent, while levels 15 – 17 will now get 14 per cent increase adjustment.
Igbokwe who spoke to journalists in his office said that reaching an agreement was a different thing and implementation was another.
He expressed fears that some governments may come up with an excuse of not being able to pay as a result of poor funds, pointing out that a new minimum wage agreement had been reached between organised labour and government.
“We have an agreement but let nobody come tomorrow and say, we have signed an agreement, even though we have signed an agreement, we do not have money to pay.
“Agreement does not mean implementation. So, we shall still be on until the implementation is affected, then we can now say, it is Uhuru”.
Igbokwe pointed out the agreement reached was, “a doable one” and that the government should not renege on the full implementation to eschew attracting labour’s Worth.
The labour leader hinted that labour might still take on the government for the review of salary of public servants, pointing out that labour might soon ask the Federal Government to constitute the committee that would review the public servants salary upwards.
The TUC boss noted that reviewing the minimum wage has become expedient because there is inflation in the land as well as the fact that VAT rate has been increased and there is no guarantee that other rates will not be increased in no distant time.