Minimum Wage: Labour Walks Out of Negotiation with FG Over ₦48,000 Proposal.

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There are indications that the Nigeria labour congress (NLC) and trade union congress (TUC) have left the minimum wage negotiations after the federal government offered to pay ₦48,000, a figure far below the ₦615,00 the unions had proposed as the new national minimum wage.

After abandoning the session, the furious labour leaders summoned an emergency press conference where they vented their displeasure with the offer, describing it as “an insult to the sensibilities of Nigerian workers’’.

Speaking at the press conference in Abuja on Wednesday, hours after the stalemate, Ajaero disclosed that, in contrast to the ₦48,000 offer made by the federal government, the organized private sector proposed an initial offer of ₦54,000.

He blamed the government and the ops for the breakdown in negotiation, saying, “despite earnest efforts to reach an equitable agreement, the less than reasonable action of the government and the organized private sector has led to a breakdown in negotiations

“The government’s proposal of a paltry ₦48,000 (forty-eight thousand naira) as the minimum wage does not only insult the sen­sibilities of Nigerian workers but also falls significantly short of meeting our needs and aspi­rations.

“In contrast, the organised private sector (OPS) proposed an initial offer of ₦54,000 (fif­ty-four thousand naira), though it is worth noting that even the least paid workers in the private sector receives ₦78,000 (seventy-eight thousand naira per month) as clearly stated by the OPS, highlighting the stark disparity between the proposed minimum wage and prevailing standards further demonstrating the unwillingness of employers and government to faithfully ne­gotiate a fair National Minimum Wage for workers in Nigeria.

“The government’s failure to provide any substantiated data to support their offer exac­erbates the situation. This lack of transparency and good faith undermines the credibility of the negotiation process and erodes trust between the parties involved.

“As representatives of Nige­rian workers, we cannot in good conscience accept a wage propos­al that would result in a reduction in income for federal-level work­ers who are already receiving ₦30,000 (thirty thousand naira) as mandated by law, augmented by Buhari’s 40% peculiar allow­ance (₦12,000) and the ₦35,000 (thirty-five thousand naira) wage award, totaling ₦77,000 (seven­ty-seven thousand naira) only.

“Such a regressive step would undermine the economic well-be­ing of workers and their families and is unacceptable in a National Minimum Wage fixing process.

“In light of these developments, and in order to prevent the negoti­ation of a wage deduction, the Ni­geria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) have taken the decision to walk out of the negotiation process.

“We remain committed to ad­vocating for the rights and inter­ests of Nigerian workers and will continue to engage in reasonable dialogue with the government if they show serious commitment to find a fair and sustainable res­olution to this impasse.

“We call upon the government to reconsider its position and come to the negotiation table with clear hands that reflects the true value of the contributions made by Nigerian workers to the nation’s development and the ob­jective socioeconomic realities that confront not just Nigerian workers but Nigerians today as a result of the policies of the Fed­eral Government.

“Together, in a reasonable dialogue, we can work to give Nigerian workers a ₦615,000 (six hundred and fifteen thousand naira) National Minimum Wage as proposed by us on the basis of evidence and data. This will be in keeping with the pledge of the President, His Excellency Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s pledge to ensure a living wage for Nigerian workers”

This was the second time in two weeks that the negotiation had run into trouble.

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