Labour agrees to attend minimum wage talks on Tuesday

The Organised Labour has reached a consensus to participate in the upcoming negotiation session with the Tripartite Committee on the Minimum Wage scheduled for Tuesday, May 21, 2024.

Mr. Etim Okon, the Vice President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), affirmed this decision during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja.

Previously, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the TUC had exited the negotiation meeting following the Federal Government's proposal of N48,000 as the new minimum wage for workers in the country.

“The proposal falls significantly short of meeting our needs and aspirations,” the unions had said.

Labour also accused the government of failure to provide any substantiated data to support their offer, which exacerbates the situation, and a lack of transparency and good faith undermines the credibility of the negotiation process.

”The federal government has apologised and the next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, and we are going to appear and present our demand.

“We will still be presenting the N615,000. It is what we presented before we walked out, though our submission was not rejected by the government.

“We only rejected the N48,000 that government presented. Because they did not show us how they arrived at that amount.

“That is taking cognizance of transportation, housing, food, utilities, health, and education, among others, which are basic needs of the people.

“So the government should come out clearly with what they are offering with the indices and variables and also how they arrived at that. This is all that we are saying,” he said.

Also, Mr Adewale-Smatt Oyerinde, Director-General of Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA), told NAN that he hoped that the Tuesday meeting of the Tripartite Committee would be successful.

Oyerinde said that the federal government had prevailed over what happened at the last meeting as labour had walked out of the negotiation process.

“I am happy the government has prevailed on the issue, and they will be coming back to the table for the actual negotiations.

“Every body’s figure is valid; the Labour N615,000 proposal is valid to the extent of labour reality, government N48,000 is valid to their reality. The private sector’s N54,000 is also valid in present-day reality.

“Like I said, we have moved back to the negotiation table properly, and we would look at alignment of positions. There will be a lot of give-and-take.

“Also, there will be a concensus on what the National Minimum Wage will be, and the committee will then make a recommendation to Mr President,” he said. (NAN)

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