In almost all the nations, there is a constant demand for increase in payment. Both in private and public companies, people are now going on strike and even walking away from their jobs because they are terribly underpaid. In Nigeria, every tertiary education graduate goes for the NYSC program which lasts for a year. Last 2 years, the alawee (allowance) was increased to 33 thousand naira which is equivalent to $66. But even now, there is still vigorous protest to increase it to $100.
Is it really the protester's fault? Of course not. The persistent inflation of prices is really pushing workers to request for more pay. If that request is granted, in just a couple of years there will still be another one. What really is causing this problem?
The main reason why workers pressure for more is the constant increase in price of good and services. Within 2020 to 2022, the United States saw its cost of living rise more than 15 percent on the average. In Nigeria, the estimate is a whooping 35 percent. Food items, non-food items, transport, health-care, clothing, insurance among others are all affected by the hike in prices. To eat nutritious 3 square meals everyday is a challenge for many. You will enter grocery stores and you will have to cut back on what you planned to buy, because the prices is different from last week's.
Taxes are also being increased constantly. For example, in United States taxes take 40 cents out of every dollar. That is way over one-third of a person's income. This is why workers feel the need to negotiate for wage increase which will be enough to cover the rise in the cost of living for the next few years. And after those years have elapsed they will have to ask for more increases.
A longing for what others have
Many things are advertised every day and people are longing for them. They hear of the amount others are getting and feel they deserve more as well. If the people in power like president and senators can be earning that much with incentives, then the labour market is being cheated.
The action taken
After the cries for increase in payment are not key, the workers make the decision to go on strike. The association of universities in Nigeria has been on strike for months now. It is very common here, doctors, teachers, policemen and others alike go on strike to show their seriousness. But what it the pressure for more pay is met, who really pays for it?
Who pays for it?
Pay increases worldwide now average 12 percent every year. Who pays the increase? Whether government or private companies workers, the workers still pay for the increase in wages. Consider an example.
Private university staffs believe they are underpaid and they protest for more pay. The board succumbs to their request. But then to meet it, they will have to increase the tuition fees. Hence the students fees are increased. If any of the starts has a child in the school, that means he is paying for more out of the more he received. And if he does not have a student there, the market nearby heard that the school have increased their salary. They will also increase their prices of goods. Transport can be increased, tax and many more. So who is paying for the increase in wages? The workers themselves. It's as if you are running on a treadmill, but you are not getting anywhere.
This is the sad reality of the pressure for more pay. Eventually the wage earner himself pays for it in higher prices of goods and services, and more taxes. Companies and governments themselves simply charge more to pay for the increases.
No doubt, the pressure for more pay causes great frustration and unhappiness. Think of the plight of people who are on low incomes and get little or no increase to combat inflation. This just shows that man's economic systems is not working for the benefit of all.
What is really needed is a government that will work for the good of all alike. One that will be above selfish interests, has wisdom and power to control all economic affairs and to make necessary changes that will benefit all.
No promises, we can only hope for such government.