MINIMUM WAGE: FARMERS, ARTISANS FAULT OSUN WORKERS

Filed in News by on September 3, 2011

Minimum wage: Farmers, artisans fault Osun workers
By Tunde Odesola, Osogbo
Saturday, 3 Sep 2011

The resistance of the labour force in Osun State over the clamour for the new minimum wage came under criticisms on Thursday when a cross-section of artisans, farmers and commercial motorcyclists faulted the position of the Nigeria Labour Congress.

Commercial motorcyclists, farmers, tailors, goldsmiths and blacksmiths, in separate reactions to the ongoing wage increase demand by civil servants, described it as political and selfish.

Acting on the platform of the Motorcycle Transport Union and Amalgamated Commercial Motorcyclists of Nigeria, the commercial motorcyclists urged the workers to consider the suffering caused the by the strike.

In separate statements by the Osun Tailors Association, Osun Goldsmith Association and Osun Blacksmith Association, on Thursday, in Osogbo, they described the demand by labour as selfish and sponsored.

The tailors’ association said, “The striking workers should accept the N19,001 minimum wage increase for Grade Levels 01 to 07. Osun (State) is not rich. Osun cannot afford to pay N1.9bn out of the N2.1bn accruable to it monthly for workers’ salary.”

The farmers said, “The state labour force represents less than two per cent of Osun’s total population; how can 99 per cent of the state’s resources be spent on less than two per cent of the population?”

Chairman, Osun NLC, Mr. Saka Adesiyan, in a telephone interview with our correspondent, on Wednesday, in Osogbo, said the payment of N19, 001 minimum wage to workers on Grade Levels 01 to 07 was unacceptable.

He said, “We (labour) were not part of the N19,001 minimum wage decision. We do not know how the state government came about the N19,001 minimum wage increase.

“We will continue to press for our demand until the state government accede. The state government can afford to pay the minimum wage.”

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