By Balkis Tijani.
Organised Labour in Kwara State has said that it would commence a strike action tomorrow, Tuesday, if the government of Kwara State fails to sign and implement the minimum wage for the workers in the state.
The labour leaders re-echod this in a statement issued at the end of an emergency meeting of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and Joint Negotiating Council (JNC-TUS) held at Labour House in Ilorin today.
The state government under governor Abdulrahaman Abdulrazak had continually pleaded for the understanding of the workers, saying that the finances of the State government cannot accommodate a holistic salary increase at the moment. The government also said it would continue to engage the workers towards finding a common ground on the salary increase.
Also, the governor had in March told labour leaders at a consultation meeting that he was ready to sign the deal if he would not be held responsible if the councils default, noting that the councils are at present struggling to pay the N18,000 minimum wage and even had to draw from their savings and IGR before paying February salary.
But according to a statement jointly signed by the State Chairmen of NLC, TUC and JNC-TUS, Aliyu Issa Ore, Ezekiel A. Adegoke and Saliu O. Suleiman respectively, the congress is insisting on carrying on with the proposed industrial action beginning from tomorrow, Tuesday.
The resolution, made available to Journalists in Ilorin, the State capital, partly reads, “This is to inform all workers in the State Public Service and the Local Governments that at the close of work Today, Monday 12th October, 2020, if the Kwara State Government fails to meet the demands of the workers which include the signing and implementation of the new minimum wage of N30,000 to all categories of workers of the State and Local Government as well as penioners in the state and Local Government, all workers should as from tomorrow Tuesday 13th october, 2020 commence industrial action.
“Every worker should remain at home as any any ministry or offices will be seriously dealt with. No worker should come to the work until they were directed by the leadership of the labour movement.
“We will make sure that nobody is victimized or harrassed by government in this respect.”
Before the current impasse, the government of Kwara State had tried to avert the strike, with a meeting called to broker peace with the labour leaders ending in a deadlock.
Earlier on Sunday, a pan-northern group, Gamji Members Association of Kwara State (GAMA) had joined the government to plead with the workers to rescind their decision to proceed on strike, stating that industrial action “would hurt everyone, including the workers themselves.”