The newly elected President of the Trade Union Congress, Quadri Olaleye, on Sunday said the union would issue an ultimatum for an industrial action if the Federal Government continued to delay the implementation of new N30, 000 minimum wage.
In an exclusive interview with our correspondent, Olaleye said that TUC had begun mobilising workers ahead of an industrial action, accusing government of showing no serious commitment to the implementation of the minimum wage.
Representatives of the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council on the technical committee set up to negotiate consequential adjustments arising from the new minimum wage, had disagreed with the government proposal of 9.5 per cent salary increase for employees on Grade Levels 07 to 14 and five per cent for those on Grade Levels 15 to 17.
The council said it would not shift position on its demand for 30 per cent increase for officers on grade levels 7 to 14 and 25 per cent increase for grade levels 15 to 17.
Olaleye said, “We have made presentation to the Federal Government on this issue but it seems that the government is not ready to yield to the expectation of Nigerian workers. We are supporting the JNPSNC on this issue.
“The implementation of the new minimum wage of N30, 000 should have been done a long time ago since President Muhammadu Buhari signed it on April 18, 2019, but government is dragging the matter needlessly. With the way things are, it seems the government is not interested in its implementation.
“We are going to issue an ultimatum to the FG soon. We want the negotiation to resume before going ahead. However, if there is no solution to the problem of implementation in the next two weeks, we will issue the ultimatum. We have started mobilising our members already.”
He added, “The position of the NJNC to call on workers to go on strike is supported by the TUC. But we want to give the government an opportunity to do something about it before taking action over the non-implementation of the new minimum wage.
“We reject government proposal of 9.5 per cent salary raise for employees on Grade Levels 07 to 14 and five per cent for those on Grade Levels 15 to 17. We have come down from about 66 per cent raise but we cannot agree on what government is pushing to us. Government should expect our action any time if nothing is done.”
Olaleye said that TUC would support the call for strike by organised labour after the stalemate in the negotiation between JNPSNC and government representatives.