Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has apprised Nigerians of impending strikes in the judicial and health sectors as well as workers in the civil service. This is allegedly as a result of the failure of the government to review wages.
The Union has hit up the government at different levels and also business proprietors to pay up wages of staff in alignment with other nations who have addressed economic challenges by paying workers. The union was repfresented by its President, Ayuba Wabba.
While speaking with newsmen in Lagos, Ayuba howled that the salary structures of the aforementioned sector has not been reviewed since 2013 which is contradictory to the plan to review in three years. He said; “There are many sectors and some of them, because they are not allowed to advance their issues, have remained silent, but it is eating them up very deep.
He mentioned that out of these sectors is the judiciary. According to him the salary and remuneration of workers in this sector has not been reviewed since 2009. He said that this would have made it hard for the workers to carry out their duties with satisfaction. He also mentioned that earning the same amount as 2009 is not a good one as a result of the rise in the cost of loving. According to him, “how do they survive?”
He said, “I think we should have learnt some lessons from what has happened recently in the tertiary institutions and proactively look at those other sectors that have similar challenges that needed to also be addressed at this point in time.
“I mentioned just a few of them, which was last reviewed in 2009. It is a wake-up call and we must do the needful and act before it is too late. Workers are becoming very restive because the challenges in the economy are affecting every worker that is on fixed wages. It is high time we proactively looked at those issues instead of reacting when unions raise the issues.”
In addressing the need for the “cost of living allowance, Ayuba said,“I can say without mincing words, if you look at the figures, particularly inflation, unemployment, and the challenge in the social sector, it is clear that our economy is not doing well. Basically, we have no reason for the economy not to do well because we are a country that is well-endowed. Yes, people may say, the challenge is global, but solutions have to be found locally. Many countries around the world are finding solutions locally to respond to global challenges.
Wabba explained that the inflation trend is global but countries have decided to address it locally. He cited Tunisia as an example and how they responded to the challenge by increasing salaries by seven percent. According to him, Ghana did the same and as such it seems salary review is also a trend globally.
He concluded by saying unions will not have to keep shouting and going on industrial actions if the government responds effectively.