The National Labour Congress has issued a stern warning about potential industrial action due to delays in establishing a committee to discuss the new minimum wage for public sector workers.
Recall that the labor unions have already appointed representatives for the National Minimum Wage Review Committee, which is legally tasked with overseeing negotiations and advising the government on suitable wage rates in line with economic changes.
According to the NLC President, Comrade Joe Ajaero, while addressing newsmen in Abuja on Thursday, said that the NLC has done the needful since last year by sending the names of its representatives to the government for the minimum wage committee to be constituted.
He added that it is left for the federal government to constitute the committee so negotiations can commence in earnest.
However, the federal government has not been able to move towards meeting the demands of the labor unions, despite several negotiations and meetings held between the government and the labor unions.
Speaking during an interview with the Punch on Saturday, the Deputy President of the TUC, Tommy Etuk, expressed the union’s impatience with the government’s slow response and threatened to launch a strike if the issue is not addressed urgently.
He said, “If there is no agreement on the minimum wage review, there’s nothing anyone can do. I assure you that it is a recipe for industrial disharmony.
The government should inaugurate the committee and let it start work on time to see some grey areas where we can agree or disagree, and work in tandem with the principle of collective bargaining so that we can arrive at a collective agreement.
“We believe it’s the best option rather than waiting for the 11th hour to decide what to give to the organised labour. It will not work that way.”
Etuk added that the right thing for the Federal Government to do was to set up the National Minimum Wage Committee to oversee the modalities across the board.
“The National Minimum Wage Committee should have been inaugurated because the task ahead is a difficult one. It’s not about getting the committee in place and there is a lot to be done. It is about the government to inaugurate the committee and appoint a chairman so that they can start work in earnest” he said
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