New wage: Ekiti workers threaten strike

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Rasaq Ibrahim, Ado Ekiti

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

The union said Governor Kayode Fayemi appears not to be committed to implementing the new minimum wage going his body language.

It, however, said it has begun moves to mobilise its members for a showdown with the governor.

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

Fayemi started the implementation for workers on grade levels 01 to 06 in May 2019, with a promise that others shall benefit before December 31.

Labour said ‘this information became expedient to prepare workers for the action ahead due to this endless negotiation’.

A statement on Tuesday by Secretary of the Joint Negotiating Council Gbenga Olowoyo; Secretary of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) Kuloogun Lawrence and Secretary of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Eniola Akinyemi, in Ado-Ekiti, after a joint meeting, reads: “After the FAAC meeting, the government is still placid; workers will not guarantee industrial peace which labour leaders have sacrificed everything to maintain.

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“Workers have been disenchanted and enslaved over this endless negotiation, while there are other labour issues yet to be attended to. Enough is enough.

“On February 18, Governor Fayemi intervened in a negotiation process, hoping the agreement will be signed on or before the end of February, so that March salary will be paid with the new wage agreement.

“Thereafter, other meetings were held in the Office of the Head of Service but after waiting for one week, the last straw that broke the camel’s back was the March 16 meeting which the governor intervened in, hoping that the agreement will be signed, but alas nothing happened.

“The story is still the same; Governor Fayemi asked to monitor the economy for two months – April and May – but we rejected this. Our fellow workers, the resolution at the Monday meeting is to wait to know Ekiti’s fate in the Federal Allocation status after FAAC’s meeting this week.”