Strike, Minimum wage, Kwara Labour, NLC, TUC, JNC, Industrial Action, Kwara State Government

Kwara workers begin strike over minimum wage

The organised labour in Kwara state has commenced industrial actions, following the state government’s failure to honour its ultimatum on the payment of the new minimum wage.

The labour leaders had on given the state government 14-day ultimatum to start payment of the new national minimum wage at a press conference in Ilorin on September 28.

However, the State Commissioner for Information, Harriet Afolabi-Oshatimehin, responding to the ultimatum in a statement lastweek Wednesday, said the payment of the proposed minimum wage is not practicable for the local government workers.

“The challenge however has been how the Local governments can afford it. At the moment, all the local governments combined earn an average of N2.6bn monthly, including the 10 percent of their share of the IGR. Remarkably, the monthly wage bill of these local governments stands at about N2.5bn. These expenses, it must be stated, are based on the extant N18,000 minimum wage,” the Commissioner stated.

She added that when the new minimum wage is considered, including the consequential adjustments, the wage bill will shoot up to around N3 billion, adding that the earnings of the local governments cannot afford such at this time.

“The government is committed to paying the minimum wage but it is pleading with the labour to accept a more reasonable scale which takes the total wage bill to less than N3bn.
We call for reasonable and practical steps to avoid a situation which will lead to the local government borrowing to pay salaries as was the case before this administration,” she said.

Also, the governor had in March told labour leaders at a consultation meeting in Ilorin, the state capital, that he was ready to sign the deal if he would not be held responsible if the councils default, observing 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.

However, the labour unions unanimously urged him to sign the deal and leave the local government authorities to draw up the modalities to pay, including working with the government to weed out ghost workers, cleanse the payroll, and reduce the wage bill.

THE INFORMANT247 earlier reported that the state government, on Monday, secured an injunction at the National Industrial Court sitting in Akure against the planned strike.

However, THE INFORMANT247 learnt that the Court officials were not able to serve the labour leaders the injuction notice yesterday, thereby pasting it at a bill board in front of the labour house, in the state capital.

Meanwhile, the labour is yet officially respond to the injunction, though a top source contacted by our correspondent, who pleaded anonymity, said they didn’t receive the court notice, vowing to proceed with the strike.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *