Following the non- implementation of the minimum wage by the the Enugu state government, The Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) and its Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) counterpart in the State have given the state and local governments seven days ultimatum to implement N30,000 minimum wage.
This ultimatum was issued by the two unions on Thursday in Enugu during a joint press conference following the non-implementation of the minimum wage to workers at the third tier of government.
They threatened a total shutdown of the local government system and primary school sub-sector in Enugu State, at the expiration of the ultimatum on July 28.
Recall that the state government had, in February 2020, started the implementation of the new minimum wage in the state.
However, only workers in the core ministries of the state government and secondary school teachers were captured, while others in agencies and departments and local government councils were left out.
On 9 May, 2022, public primary school teachers in the state embarked on an indefinite strike which lasted for one month to press home their demand for the new wage.
The leadership of the NUT, however, suspended the strike for just one month.
The NUT Chairman in the state, Theophilus Odo, said that the suspension of the strike was because of the intervention of the state governor.
Mr Odo said the one month timeline was to enable the state governor to give consideration to the demand of the primary school teachers.
The NUT chairman said it was sad that after six weeks of the suspension of the strike, there were no commitments by the local government chairpersons to pay the new wage.
“If by Wednesday, July 27, 2022, the minimum wage with its consequential adjustment is not implemented, industrial harmony may not be guaranteed in the state.
“The two affected industrial unions in the state will proceed on strike,” he said.
Mr Odo said the NUT had done well to give the government over one month’s window to implement the new wage for workers in the two sectors.
“Instead, the implementation is tactfully being delayed with unfulfilled promises that the issue would soon be over,” Mr Odo said.
Also, the President of NULGE, Enugu State Chapter, Kenneth Ugwueze, said they needed the state governor to direct local government chairmen in the state to comply with the payment.
Mr Ugwueze described the condition of most local government workers in the state as “pitiable”.
He said most local government workers in the state were paid N18, 000.
He said that notwithstanding a series of meetings with relevant authorities, reports of committees, consultations and appeals as well as a subsisting court judgment, the government had remained adamant.
Mr Ugwueze urged workers in the local government system to prepare for the strike which he said would be “total”.
When contacted, the media aide to Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Steve Oruruo told NAN he could speak on the matter because he did not have information about the government’s plan to avert the strike.
NAN could not immediately reach the Secretary to the Enugu State Government, Simon Ortuanya, as he did not respond to calls and messages to his phone line.