Mrs Funmi Sessi, Chairperson, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Lagos State Chapter, says workers are anxious to receive the new minimum wage without any further delay.
Speaking in Lagos on Thursday, the labour leader said that payment of the new minimum wage would be a win-win situation not only for workers but also for the government as it would result in improved productivity and wealth creation.
“The workers are becoming agitated and restive, they want the money or we go on strike.
“We are only delaying because we have seen that government has woken from their slumber, and they know we have already mobilised because the people are tired of fake promises.
“We are ready and keen to receive this new minimum wage without any further delay because any delay in the implementation of this new minimum wage before the end of the year might spell doom for the economy and the good name of the nation,” Sessi said.
She spoke on the sidelines of the 10th Quadrennial State Delegates Conference of the Medical and Health Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MHWUN), Lagos State Chapter, on Thursday in Lagos.
The labour leader said that workers had been patient and considerate, adding that excuses by politicians that the economy would collapse if the minimum wage was implemented would no longer be tolerated.
“It is a lie. The economy will not crumble; the whole nation will not fall, let us reduce the numbers of political office holders, reduce their offices and let them be placed on salaries like other workers, that is, when we will get it right.
“We are talking about N30, 000 minimum wage and a bag of rice is N27, 000, how many homes can afford it.
“It is only unreasonable people that would puncture what labour is demanding because it is actually not a living wage but a starvation wage,” she said.
She urged the government to be responsible and emulate other countries who made the welfare of their workers a priority, saying the interest of workers in all sectors should be taken care of.
Sessi added that the Lagos State Government had already promised to pay above the minimum wage, adding that the government was waiting for the federal templates to enable it to commence percentage negotiations.
Also, Mr Rasaq Falade, Chairman, MHWUN, Lagos State Chapter, said that the union would continue to negotiate good welfare packages and career progression for its members.
“As leaders, we hold power in trust for our members, and we would continue to stand firm in negotiating good deals that would make our members happy,” he said.
He said that the union was expanding opportunities for youths and women in consonance with the leadership qualities that MHWUN stood for.
Falade, who is also the Chairman, Lagos State Public Service Joint Negotiation Council, said the Council would, in the next two weeks, commence negotiations with the state government on consequential adjustment of salary structure for Lagos State workers.