Minimum Wage: We won’t sign unsustainable agreement, says Ondo Labour

Minimum wage: We won’t sign unsustainable agreement, says Ondo Labour
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As the negotiation between the Ondo State Government and the organised labour in the state resumed on Tuesday, the latter said both parties had reached 85 per cent agreement on the matter.

The organised labour, however, said it would not enter into any agreement with the government that is unsustainable, thereby lead to retrenchment of workers in the state.

The Ondo State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Mr Sunday Adeleye-Oluwole, who spoke in Akure, the state capital, on Wednesday, confirmed that the negotiations over the new minimum wage which was hitherto suspended, had resumed and it had reached about 85 per cent.

He also expressed assurance that the negotiation might be concluded before the end of this week.

According to the labour leader, the delay in the minimum wage approval and implementation in Ondo State was caused by the insistence of the organized labour led by the Joint Negotiation Council, the NLC and the Trade Union Congress to get a better package for workers and pensioners.

The NLC Chairman noted that the new salary tables on minimum wage presented by the state government were being critically studied to ensure that the newly agreed salaries did not lead to irregular payment and mass retrenchment.

He said, “The negotiation is not led by Nigeria Labour Congress but is led by the JNC as prescribed by the national headquarters of the NLC and the Trade Union Congress, we are just supporting the JNC and that was what we have been doing and I want to say that in the last two months, the JNC in its wisdom setup negotiation committee and ever since then we have met more than seven times.

“So JNC has a final say concerning this minimum wage. But as of now, based on what happened on Tuesday, we have gotten to 85 per cent completion. Also, pensioners are being carried along because we believe that all of us become pensioners.

“From what I have been following I can say that before this week runs out we should be able to come up with specific table and we are working on five different tables for judiciary, parliament, media workers, for the call services, for our counterpart in health sector and the services have their own peculiar allowances. So we are working now on five structure including pensioners making it six.

“In the spirit of negotiation, what we really need is to know the data, how much is coming from Ondo State, which we have got and we also look at the present salary wage bill.

“As labour leaders, we were not elected to sign what will cause our workers to be retrenched. Last month, the office of the Accountant General was so frustrated that he called us and showed to us (all labour leaders) how they got money to pay November (2019) salary and even at the minimum wage (negotiation) table, it was stated to every one of us.

“My advice to JNC as NLC leader is, don’t sign what can lead to retrenchment of our members because I don’t have the final position, it is JNC that has the final position on the new minimum wage.”

Source – The Punch

Agolo Uzorka
the authorAgolo Uzorka

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