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Labour rejects FG’s N48,000 minimum wage offer

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The organised Labour on Wednesday, vehemently rejected the government and the Organized Private Sector (OPS) new minimum wage proposals of N48,000 and N54,000 respectively.

Labour described the government’s proposal of N48,000 as not only insulting the sensibilities of Nigerian workers but also falling significantly short of meeting their needs and aspirations

The rejection came during a briefing at Labour House, where labour leaders expressed their disappointment and frustration.

They stressed the need for a more substantial increase in the minimum wage to address the challenges faced by Nigerian workers.

It said, “Despite earnest efforts to reach an equitable agreement, the less than reasonable action of government and the Organised Private Sector, OPS, has led to a breakdown in negotiations. The government’s proposal of a paltry N48,000 as 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 N54, 000, though it is worth noting that even the least paid workers in the private sector receive N78, 000 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.

“Furthermore, the government’s failure to provide any substantiated data to support its 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 will result in a reduction in income for federal-level workers who are already receiving N30,000 as mandated by law, augmented by Buhari’s 40 per cent peculiar allowance (N12,000) and the N35,000 wage award, totalling N77,000.

“Such a regressive step will 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 to prevent the negotiation of a wage deduction, the NLC and TUC have decided to walk out of the negotiation process. We remain committed to advocating the rights and interests of Nigerian workers and will continue to engage in reasonable dialogue with the government if it shows 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 reflect 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 also 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 N615,000 national minimum wage as proposed by us based on evidence and data. This will be in keeping with the pledge of the President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s pledge to ensure a living wage for Nigerian workers.”

 

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