Labor Rejects FG’s Fresh ₦54,000 Wage Offer As Talks Continue

The Federal Government of Nigeria has proposed to pay ₦54,000 as minimum wage, as the Tripartite Committee on the New Minimum Wage returned to the negotiation table after the Organized Labor pulled out of the negotiations last week.

At the reconvened meeting this week, the Federal Government made a fresh proposal to pay ₦54,000 as against the initial ₦48,000 it proposed during the last sitting.

However, a reliable source at the meeting told reporters labor that the Organized Labor refused the new proposal, as it is a far cry from the ₦615,000 proposed by both the Nigeria Labor Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC).

According to the source, the meeting which held behind closed doors at the Nicon luxury hotel in Abuja on Tuesday has been adjourned to Wednesday, May 22 to continue with negotiations.

Also, NLC President Joe Ajaero described as “unsubstantial”, the fresh proposal by the government. “It is still not substantial compared to what we need to make a family moving,” the labour leader said on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Tuesday night.

“There is nothing on the table…We may be reconvening tomorrow (Wednesday) in the afternoon to continue negotiations.”

He said, “The economy of the workers is totally destroyed. In fact, the workers doesn’t have any economy. I think there are two economies in the country; the economy of the bourgeoisie and the economy of the workers. I think we have to harmonize this so that we can have a meeting point.”

Read Also: Minimum Wage: Labor Insists On May 31 Deadline As Talks Resume

The Organised Labour comprising the NLC and the TUC had on Tuesday given the Federal Government up till the end of May to conclude negotiations for a new minimum wage.

The unions also directed their members in states that are owing the ₦30,000 minimum wage to gear up for industrial action.

The Federal Government had failed to present a nationally acceptable minimum wage to Nigerians before the May 1 Labor Day.

The situation has forced labor to be at loggerheads with the government. In the wake of the tussle, NLC President Joe Ajaero insisted on the N615,000 minimum wage, arguing that the amount was arrived at after an analysis of the economic situation worsened by the hike in the cost of living and the needs of an average Nigerian family of six.

With the cost of living rising following the removal of fuel subsidy, calls for a new minimum wage have continued to make headlines in Nigeria.

Ajaero and labour leaders gave the Federal Government a May 31 deadline to meet their demands.

Africa Today News, New York

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