Raymond Ozoji, Awka
Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra state has been advised to implement the agreement reached with the organised labour in the state regarding payment of the new national minimum wage.
Ndubisi Nwobu, a Frontline hotelier and politician, gave the advice in Awka at the weekend, saying that merely adding peanuts to the salaries of workers does not represent implementation of the new national minimum wage.
He observed that it was of paramount importance that governnent should build trust and confidence amongst the citizenry and not trying to play on their intelligence by not implementing agreements and maintaining industrial relations in the state.
Nwobu recalled that the minimum wage before the clamour for N30,000 was N18,000 and that after the re-negotiation between labour and the federal government, there was an agreement that the minimum wage be moved from N18,000 to N30,000 at all levels of the nation’s public service.
The industrialist also noted what he termed consequential adjustments in the making of the new salaries, which he said, was equally agreed upon by the organised labour and government of the federation, which should also be carried out by all state governments including Anambra state.
He said the labour union in Anambra state should be commended for being magnanimous enough to even re-negotiate with the state government, stressing that on 24th January, 2020, an agreement was reached between the Anambra State Government and the organised labour on what the consequential adjustments in the new salaries should be.
Nwobu however expressed great concern that rather than implement provisions of the agreement, the state government in paying workers’ salaries jettisoned the agreement and added what he described as N2000 and N3000 to their salaries respectively, as if government was “dashing” workers money when they were actually demanding the wages on the services they have rendered.
According to him, “It is not in the interest of the state government to negate agreements reached. They should get back and do the needful by implementing the agreement they have already reached with labour on 24th of January, 2020.
“It has nothing to do with partisan politics because the civil servants are not politicians but they are fathers, they are mothers, they are our brothers and sisters and it is not right for any governnent to treat any union in that manner.
“It is even not a matter of APGA government, PDP government or no government. If they had implemented the agreement with labour, why would they give them 14-day ultimatum?
“In order to still retain as well as maintain its confidence in the citizenry, I am urging the government to move on and implement the agreement already reached with the labour union in terms of the minimum wage and the consequential adjustments. The 14-day ultimatum is a clear indication that workers are not being treated well in Anambra state.”