A showdown is imminent between the Imo State Government and the organised labour over the implementation of the new national minimum wage.
The governor, Hope Uzodinma, had announced the immediate implementation of the new wage scheme, starting from level one step one, but the organised labour accused the government of going ahead to make the announcement when negotiations had not yet been concluded, especially on then issue of consequential adjustment of wages for all cadres of civil servants in the state.
The Chairman of the Joint Public Service Negotiating Council, Comrade Aloysius Iwuanyanwu, told newsmen that the announcement by the government was superfluous because in the first instance, there was nothing like level one step one.
He said that the negotiations are still on going, with the government agreeing to release the template for the payment by Thursday this week, only for labour to start hearing that an order had been given for the immediate payment of the new wage.
According to him, “We are embarrassed by that statement and we have asked them to withdraw it because it was done in bad faith. In the first place, there is no level like level one step one. Secondly we are still negotiating and all of a sudden, we heard the announcement. We are waiting for them to release the template and then we take off from there”
But the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Oguwuike Nwachukwu, said that there is no disagreement as both labour and government are on the same page.
According to him, the instruction was for the government to start paying those whose payment did not require any negotiation, while the ongoing talks between government and labour continues on the issue of consequential adjustments on all other cadres.