Minimum wage: Ekiti workers threaten strike over delay in implementation

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By Rasaq Ibrahim, Ado Ekiti

 

Organised labour in Ekiti State has threatened to embark on industrial action over what they perceived as government’s persistent effort to frustrate the implementation of the N30, 000 minimum wage and the consequential adjustment.

The union said it had begun moves to mobilize its members for a showdown with Governor Kayode Fayemi, stressing the governor appears not to be committed to implementing the new minimum wage and consequential adjustment going his body language.

The workers lamented that the negotiation for the minimum wage and consequential salary adjustment which started on 23rd December 2019 had dragged for long without hope of implementation.

Governor Fayemi started the implementation for workers on grade levels 01 to 06 last year May, with a promise that others shall benefit before last year December 31.

The labour added that this information became expedient “to prepare workers for the action ahead due to this endless negotiation”.

This position was contained in a statement signed by State Secretary of Joint Negotiating Council, Gbenga Olowoyo, State Secretary of Trade Union Congress, Kuloogun Lawrence and State Secretary of Nigeria Labour Congress, Eniola Akinyemi, in Ado Ekiti, on Tuesday, after a joint meeting.

It said: “After the FAAC meeting Ekiti State Government is still placid, workers will not guarantee industrial peace which the leadership of organized labour in the State has utmost sacrificed everything to maintain.

“Workers have been disenchanted and enslaved over this endless negotiation.

Whereas there are other labour issues is yet to be attended to. Enough is Enough.”

The organised labour said it has held several marathon meetings with government both at sub-technical committee and enlarged negotiation committee levels with no fruitful result.

“On February 18th 2020 Mr. Governor intervened in the Negotiation process hoping that the agreement will be signed on or before the end of February 2020, so that March 2020 salary will be paid with the new minimum wage agreement.

“Thereafter, other meetings were held again in the office of the Head of Service where all sectors in the Public Service were to be carried along especially the Health Sector.

“After waiting for one week, the last straw that broke the camel’s back was held on Monday 16th March, 2020 where Mr. Governor intervened with the hope that the agreement will be signed but alas, nothing happened.

“The story is still the same; Mr. Governor was demanding for two months, from April – May 2020 to monitor the Nigeria economy, this was strongly rejected by labour.

“Our Fellow Workers, arising from the above narration, the resolution at the Monday 16th March 2020 meeting is to wait to know the fate of Ekiti State in the Federal Allocation status of which the FAAC meeting will hold this week between March 16 and 20,” the labour leaders said.