The Nigerian Labour Congress, Kwara State unit, has rejected the ongoing verification/auditing of the state government as condition for the payment of minimum wage to the workers as demanded.
The labour leaders, instructed their members to go on a standby for an indefinite strike, which will commence on Monday.
This information is contained in a statement jointly signed by the state Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress, Issa Ore; acting state Chairman, Trade Union Congress, Ezekiel Adegoke; and state Chairman, Joint Negotiating Council, Saliu Suleiman, made available to journalists in Ilorin on Wednesday.
Labour leaders had given 14 days ultimatum which would expire on Monday, October 12, 2020, to the state government on the matter, but the government decided to carry out verification and auditing of workers before implementing the minimum wage.
The statement reads, “Consequent upon the letter received from the office of the Head of Service, Kwara State, on the issue of verification and auditing of the workers in the Civil Service and the local governments, the organised labour under the auspices of the NLC, TUC and JNC-TUS vehemently rejected the exercise until the issues of minimum wage are amicably signed and implemented for the workers in the state without any discrimination.”
“Furthermore, all workers/industrial unions in Kwara State are hereby directed to commence mobilisation and sensitisation of their members towards the expiration of the 14 days ultimatum, which will elapse on Monday midnight, October 12, 2020 for full industrial action in the state,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, the government is yet to respond to the statement of the labour unions as at the time of filling this report.
Reacting, the Kwara State Government said staff audit and verification of workers were part of its efforts to reposition the public service in the state, adding that it was not a precondition for the payment of the minimum wage.
The commissioner for Communication, Mrs Harriet Afolabi-Oshatimehin, said, “To be sure, negotiations for the minimum wage continue on Thursday. The minimum wage is a law the state government will obey.”533