By Shola Abayomi.
The organised labour yesterday, hinted on the possibility of industrial action if the Federal Government continues to drag its feet on wholesome implementation of the N30,000 minimum wage.
The organised labour, who are operating under the aegis of the Trade Union Side (TUS) disclosed that the government is only prepared to pay peanuts to workers as adjustment, by offering 9.5 per cent salary raise for employees on ‘Grade Levels 07-14’ and 5% for those on ‘Grade Levels 15-17’, as against the TUS’ downward demand for 30% for officers on ‘Grade Levels 07-14’ and 25% for those on ‘Grade Levels 15-17’, following a 66.66% increase in the minimum wage from N18,000.000 to N30,000.00.
The TUS made the disclosure yesterday in Abuja, through a press statement by its acting chairman, Anchaver Simon, and the secretary, Alade Lawal.
The statement said, “As things are right now, the government side is only prepared to pay peanuts to workers as adjustment under the pretext that it will soon be undertaking general salary review in the public service.
“When the government side argued that such increase across board would raise the total wage bill too high, the TUS side reviewed its demand downward and eventually settled for 30% for officers on ‘Grade Levels 07-14’ and 25% for those on ‘Grade Levels 15-17’.
“The government side on its part was insisting on 9.5 per cent salary raise for employees on ‘Grade Levels 07-14’ and 5% for those on ‘Grade Levels 15-17’.
“The two sides then agreed to capture the two positions in the technical committee’s report which will now be presented for discussion at the plenary.”
The TUS further explained that it was shocked when at the last meeting of the technical committee, the government resolved not to go beyond its earlier position of 9.5 per cent salary increase for officers on ‘GL 07-14’ and 5% for those on ‘GL 15-17’.
Reacting to the FG’s resolve, the TUS said, “With this turn of event, it is quite clear now that some fifth columnists in this administration are hell bent on pushing President Muhammadu Buhari to enter into a collision course with millions of Nigerian workers in the public service. This is very sad.”