Minimum wage negotiations end today, Labour awaits Tinubu's consent

Supreme Desk
10 Jun 2024 10:36 AM GMT
Minimum wage negotiations end today, Labour awaits Tinubus consent
Organised Labour, comprising the NLC and TUC, embarked on a two–day nationwide strike last Monday and Tuesday to demand a new minimum wage for workers and the reversal of the electricity tariff hike.

The new minimum wage talks between the Federal Government and Organised Labour are anticipated to conclude on Monday (today), as the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress leaders await President Bola Tinubu's decision on their N250,000 offer.

The union leaders had set a Monday deadline for the end of negotiations on the new minimum wage.

Last Friday, the Tripartite Committee on National Minimum Wage finished its meetings, with the Federal Government and the Organised Private Sector agreeing on N62,000 and Labour demanding N250,000.

However, in a statement, the Nigeria Governors Forum stated that any minimum salary higher than N60,000 was unsustainable.

Labour leaders told our correspondents on Sunday that the parties were waiting for the President to decide on the suggestions made by the tripartite committee.

The labour leaders, who did not want to be quoted for security reasons, stated that NLC President Joe Ajaero and other top union officials had departed the country to attend a labour convention hosted by the International Labour Organisation in Geneva, Switzerland.

The newsmen was informed that the labour leaders would hold a National Executive Council meeting upon their return from Geneva to make a decision on the strike based on the president's response.

"We submitted the report to the president and are waiting for his judgement. That is the most crucial aspect, and it is what we are all waiting for.

"As it stands, some of us are on our way to Geneva for the ILO conference. Some of us are going today (Sunday), while others have already gone."Before we can hold a NEC meeting, we must return from Geneva first. In addition, we are taking precautions to ensure that the government does not accuse Labour of inciting citizens to oppose it. Also, you are aware that they are in charge of the military, so we are exercising caution. This is why we are waiting," a senior NLC official stated.

When asked about Monday's ultimatum, another NLC source stated, "Well, we gave a report to the committee, and we want the president to act on it.

"When we return from Geneva, we should hold a National Executive Council meeting to discuss the ultimatum." It is critical for us to be present, but we are currently waiting for Mr. President's decision."

The NLC and TUC led a two-day statewide strike last Monday and Tuesday to demand a higher minimum wage for workers and the reversal of the electricity pricing hike.

However, the union leadership postponed the strike for five days after signing an agreement with the Federal Government to reopen negotiations and propose a new minimum wage within a week.

The strike was suspended after a six-hour meeting between labour representatives and the National Assembly in Abuja on Monday night.

To expedite the negotiations, the President asked the finance minister, Wale Edun, to explain the cost implications of a new minimum wage within two days.

Tinubu also asked government representatives to collaborate with the organised private sector and sub-nationals to produce a new, reasonable wage award for Nigerians.

On Thursday, the finance minister and the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Atiku Bagudu, met with Tinubu in the Presidential Villa to discuss the costs of implementing a new national minimum wage.

According to reports, the president is evaluating the suggestion and will make an official declaration later.

Source: PUNCH

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