Labor Insists On May 31 Deadline As Minimum Wage Talks Resume

The tripartite committee set up by the Federal Government will finally meet today (Wednesday), May 15, 2024, to reach workable solutions to the impasse on the National minimum wage conversation. 

Africa Today News, New York reports that the Labor unions have refused to shift grounds on their proposal of ₦615,000 minimum wage while insisting on May 31, 2024 deadline.

The development comes after the failure of the Federal Government to present a nationally acceptable minimum wage to Nigerians following the expiration of the old minimum wage on April 18, 2024.

President Bola Tinubu, through the Vice President, Kashim Shettima, on January 30, 2024 inaugurated the 37-member  tripartite committee to come up with a new minimum wage.

With its membership cutting across federal, and state governments, the private sector, and organised labour, the panel is to recommend a new national minimum wage for the country.

Shettima, during the committee’s inauguration, urged the members to “speedily” arrive at a resolution and submit their reports early.

“This timely submission is crucial to ensure the emergence of a new minimum wage,” Shettima said.

Read Also: We May Increase ₦615,000 Minimum Wage Demand If.. – Ajaero

He also urged collective bargaining in good faith, emphasising contract adherence and encouraging consultations outside the committee.

The 37-man committee is chaired by the former Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Goni Aji.

However, confirming the resumption of negotiations to reporters on Wednesday, an NLC source, who spoke off the record as they were not authorized to speak to the press, said the committee will sit on Wednesday (today).

One of the sources said, “Yes the minimum wage committee will be meeting on Wednesday.”

According to him, all the zones across the country have submitted their reports.

He said, “Our expectations are clear. We have given the Federal Government till the last day of May for all the processes around national minimum wage to be concluded, if not, we will be forced to take the necessary action to compel them to do the needful.

“So, we expect that as they meet, they will also have an eye to that particular deadline that has been given to them to ensure a speedy conclusion of the process because organised labour has made a demand to the Federal Government, and we have not received any concrete offer from the government.”

The source added that the Federal Government should make its offer public.

“That is this actual negotiation exercise, they must make a realistic offer.

“The Federal Government should make an offer that has the interest of workers and also the interest of Nigeria because when workers are paid well, they are motivated, which means that productivity will increase, and it will directly make the economy thrive,” he said.

The source said a reasonable new minimum wage would increase workers’ purchasing power, which would have a positive effect on the economy.

Africa Today News, New York reports that NLC President, Joe Ajaero had said the proposed N615,000 minimum wage by Labor was arrived at after an analysis of the current economic situation and the needs of an average Nigerian family of six.

He said the last minimum wage of N30,000 expired on April 18.

He had also described as mischievous the pay rise of between 25 and 35 per cent for civil servants across various consolidated salary structures announced by the Federal Government recently.

Africa Today News, New York

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