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“It is N30,000 or nothing”: Labour talks tough over minimum wage

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“It is N30,000 or nothing”: Labour talks tough over minimum wage

The joint labor unions have said they will not sign any agreement with the Federal Government on new National Minimum Wage if it is less than N30,000.

Backstory

Mr. Joe Ajaero, President of the United Labour Congress (ULC), told newsmen in Lagos that the joint labor committee had agreed that N30,000 would be paid at the end of its negotiation as the minimum wage for workers.

However, representatives of government announced that the new minimum wage will be N24,000. Ajaero has said that the organized labor will stand against amount announced by the government and will refuse to sign any document which does not reflect the true deliberation by the tripartite committee.

Ajaero said, “N24, 000 can never be the new Minimum Wage for workers. If the government pays it, then it is an award.”

He added that the committee has concluded its meeting on the new wage and is expecting the government to invite members of the committee to sign an agreement on the decision.

“No more meetings. A date has been fixed to sign an agreement on the figure agreed. On that day, if the amount is not what the tripartite committee agreed, the organized labor will not sign,” he said.

President Muhammadu Buhari approved the appointment of a 30-member tripartite National Minimum Wage Committee to oversee the deliberations and negotiations

Labour had demanded for N65, 000 per month as the new minimum wage. However, after many delays on reaching an agreement on the figure, the committee called for a two-day nationwide strike, which commenced on September 26th, to protest the government’s delay.

A week later, on October 6th, the Federal Government proposed a new minimum wage of N24,000 per month.

Bottomline

The government is still in a tight spot with regards increasing the minimum wage. The country’s finances are the moment are so poor that even the N24,000 announcement would amount to a substantial strain at a time when several state governments are owing workers. However, the refusal of the labor unions to accept the amount proposed by the government will likely to lead to a stalemate with outcomes that the government cannot afford for economic and political reasons.

READ: Sowore and Moghalu clash over minimum wage – but what is Sowore talking about?

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