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New Minimum Wage: Labour May Embark On Fresh Strike

Posted by Thandiubani on Mon 10th Jun, 2024 - tori.ng

The deadlock in negotiations on Friday, June 8, by the tripartite committee on NNMW was due to significant differences in offers between employers (government and OPS) and organized labour.

Organised Labour may embark on a nationwide strike soon over new minimum wage.
This will depend on President Bola Tinubu and the National Assembly’s response to the ongoing negotiation on the new minimum wage today.
Recall that last week, organized labour, consisting of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) as its central bodies, unsuccessfully negotiated with the federal government on a new national minimum wage (NNMW).
Responding to the ongoing deliberations, industry experts and financial analysts have observed that the economy is facing a challenging path to recovery, with the minimum wage demands and the potential return of fuel subsidy further complicating the process and prospects of an early recovery.
The deadlock in negotiations on Friday, June 8, by the tripartite committee on NNMW was due to significant differences in offers between employers (government and OPS) and organized labour.
Surprisingly, the Federal Government negotiating team increased its previous offer of N60,000 by N2,000.
Consequently, the committee decided to present President Bola Tinubu with the N62,000 offer from the Federal Government team, supported by the OPS, and the N250,000 demand from organized labour for further consideration.
As negotiation resumes today, a member of the labour negotiating team who spoke to Vanguard said President Tinubu and the National Assembly would determine the next steps for organized labour.
He said: “At this point, we are looking up to the President and the National Assembly to right the wrong done by the government negotiators and their OPS counterpart. It was a high-level conspiracy among the federal government negotiators, the state governors and the OPS.

“Members of OPS hid under the bogus name of small and medium enterprises, SMEs, to claim they cannot pay reasonable wages.

“The OPS had willing tools in state governors who, from the onset, did not attend most of the meetings and never wanted to improve the wages of their employees, but were clandestinely meeting with OPS to scuttle any chance of a reasonable wage.

“For the Federal Government side, members of the team, besides ensuring that Mr President did not know the true situation of things, members did everything, including threats, to ensure we did not move forward.

“In fact, one senior government official singled out the NLC president for threats, blaming him for what he termed organized labour’s tough stance. Even when the TUC president wanted to defend the NLC’s president, he was not allowed to speak.

“Well, we have done our best. Since it was Mr President who set up the committee in the first place, we have returned the responsibility of doing the right thing to him. Don’t forget Mr President has always promised Nigerian workers a living wage. He now has all the opportunities to fulfil his promise to the Nigerian workers.

“However, in case Mr President fails to do the right thing, members of the National Assembly, who are representatives of the people, should rightly take up the responsibility of making Nigerian workers earn a living wage.

“We believe if the executive arm pretends not to be aware of the sufferings and pains Nigerian workers and masses are going through, we expect our representatives in the National Assembly to appreciate our pains.

‘’The issue will come to them (National Assembly members) as an executive bill. From there, they should take it up and make the nation’s workforce happier.

“What Mr President and the National Assembly do will determine our next line of action. After that, we can hold our organs’ meetings to decide our responses. For now, we have to wait. That is all I can say. “

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