- Charges government on reduction of huge cost of governance
Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has been commended for shelving the planned nationwide strike as a means of pressing for its demand for increased minimum wage.
The commendation was made by a renowned good governance advocate and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, who also expressed his support for the labour’s demands for better conditions of service, including a salary increment, for its members.
It will be recalled that the Labour called of the strike after a protracted meeting with the federal government late Tuesday.
Eze had earlier in the day called on the labour to shelve the planned strike in the sake of the poor masses of this country.
He charged the federal government to start giving a serious thought to the call for cut in the huge cost of governance in the country and use whatever is realised through this to augment catering for the people.
Eze, a former National Publicity Secretary of the defunct New Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP) gave the hint on the backdrop of the failed dialogue between the federal government negotiation team and the Joint National Public Service Negotiation Council, which represents labour unions for the implementation of a new minimum wage for Nigerian workers.
The APC chieftain, who said his decision to throw his weight behind the labour in its demands followed the discoveries he made after taking a cursory look at the plights of Nigerian workers added that an increase in salary as demanded by labour unions is necessary, justifiable and in order but should be done in a way not to collapse governance and crippling of other developmental programs of the government.
He, however, appealed to the Labour unions to shelf the idea of embarking on a national industrial action, noting that besides the fact that such would cost the nation huge financial losses, it will impose heavy tolls on the ordinary Nigerian, stressing that other techniques could be deployed to drive home their demand.
Recall that few days ago, the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) issued circulars to state councils, directing them to warm up for an indefinite strike action, beginning from Wednesday, the 16th of October, 2019, if the Federal Government fails to yield to her demands on the consequential adjustment of salaries, arising from the new minimum wage.
The party chief highlighted that Labour is demanding 29% salary increase for workers on salary level 07 to 14 and 24% adjustment for officers on grade level 15 to 17 whereas FG had proposed an 11% salary increase for workers on grade level 7 to 14 and 6.5% adjustment for those at grade level 15 to 17.
Eze reiterated that based on the books presented by the Federal Government if the government implements the current position and demands of Labour it entails that government may be left with no other option but to lay off some of her workers and stop further developments in both education, health, agriculture, security and other sectors of our economy. No patriotic union will prefers such inimical situation, which will be detrimental to the general wellbeing of larger population of Nigeria.