Organised labour under the aegis of Joint Kwara Labour Congress (JKLC) has said its meeting with the government on the new minimum wage has hit a brick wall.
The congress has given Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq 14 days ultimatum effective from January 31 to intervene.
Organised labour also enjoined its members to observe three days fasting and prayer between February 5 and 7 to enable their demands to be met.
The government had in a radio programme told the citizens that the joint negotiating committee had concluded on the minimum wage.
A communiqué signed by the chairmen of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and Joint Negotiation Committee (JNC), Aliyu Issa Ore, Kolawole Olumoh and Saliu Suleiman said: “The movement in Kwara State wishes to debunk the submission of the Commissioner of Finance that the committee has concluded on the table for the new minimum wage.
“The labour representatives at the committee rejected the table presented by the government in totality and wish to inform the workers that its meeting ended in a deadlock.
“In view of the above, therefore, the labour movement should not be held responsible for any industrial action that may be deployed to press home our legitimate demands.”
The communiqué added that “the entire workers in the state appreciated the unity/doggedness and resoluteness of the labour leaders and promised their full support to achieve our set goals.”
But Finance Commissioner Mrs. Florence Oyeyemi said that the state had agreed to pay N30,000 minimum wage to workers.
She added that negotiation would continue with the organised labour.
“Kwara State Government has agreed to pay the N30,000 minimum wage, which means no worker in the state will earn less than N30,000. But where we are now regarding the ongoing negotiation with the labour is on the issue of consequential adjustment down the ladder of salary structure. You know we have a table already. The law states that the least worker must not earn below N30,000. On our table, those earning below N30,000 now are between Level 1 to 6. We’ve worked and approved theirs. But because of a smooth movement down the ladder, we have to ensure that others are taken care of in terms of consequential adjustment. The percentage of positive change of senior civil servants on level 7 to 17 is what we are negotiating now.
“We’ve presented the table to the labour union, and we’re expecting a feedback. The payment will start as soon as we finalise negotiation on the matter and it will be communicated to the public,” Oyeyemi said.