…EBONYI WORKERS THREATEN STRIKE
Workers in Ebonyi State have threatened to embark on a state wide industrial action if within seven days, government refuses to pay the N18,000 minimum wage.
The organized Labour's threat was against the backdrop of reports that the state government would continue to pay them based on the old salary structure. The Union threatened that in a situation where its conditions were not satisfactorily met within the seven days from August 29, it would be left with no other option than to embark on a state wide indefinite industrial action.
In a communique issued at the end of the joint meeting of the State Executive Councils, SECs, of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), and Trade Union Congress (TUC), Ebonyi State councils, yesterday in Abakaliki, Chairman, Caretaker Committee, NLC in the state, Ike Abugu, observed that since 23 March, 2011 when the National Minimum Wage Bill was signed into Law by President Goodluck Jonathan, no concrete step has been taken by Ebonyi State government towards implementing it.?It therefore urged the state government to within seven days, implement the salary table released by the National Salary, Incomes and Wages Commission (NSIWC) for Ebonyi workers.
The communiquÃ© in part read that, 'the State government should put in place, within the said seven days, modalities for payment of arrears of the Minimum wage in line with the agreement signed between the Organized labour and Governor's forum and final agreement signed between the Federal Government and Organized Labour.
'That the SECs-in-Session call on the state government to review the suspension slammed on Onyemaechi Eke, since June 03, 2008 to further cement the industrial peace and harmony in the state.
'And finally, that the state government is hereby notified that where these conditions are not satisfactorily met within the said seven days from Monday, August 29, 2011, organised labour would be left with no other alternative than to call out the state workforce on an indefinite strike action,' it concluded.
Special Adviser to Ebonyi State government on Labour relations, John Nwokerekwu when contacted, argued that the government was dialoguing with labout in the state so as to come up with the best way of implementing the new wage. He assured workers that the state government would not go contrary to the law establishing the National Minimum Wage in the country even as he explained that the government was yet to say whether it will pay or not.