Labour blasts FG over N48k minimum wage proposal, walks out of negotiations

The labour unions gave the Federal Government till the end of the month to arrive at a decision.

The labour unions comprising the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) have blasted the Federal Government for proposing N48,000 as the new national minimum wage, describing the offer as ridiculous.

As a result, the unions have walked out of the ongoing minimum wage negotiations with the government and Organised Private Sector.

The organised labour made their position known in a joint statement issued after a meeting on Wednesday, May 15, 2024.

Joe Ajaero, the NLC president, explained that the government had shown unseriousness about negotiating with the Labour on the new minimum wage.

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Labour says government doesn’t have necessary data

According to Ajaero, the Federal Government doesn’t have necessary data to negotiate with labour.

He maintained that the government have till the end of the month to reach a decision, warning that Labour will decide at the ultimatum’s expiration.

The Trade Union Congress was represented at the meeting by the Deputy President, Tommy Okon.

The NLC is gearing up for a nationwide protest over the economic situation of Nigeria. [PBS]

The Government’s proposal of a paltry N48,000 (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 N54,000 (fifty-four thousand Naira) though it is worth noting that even the least paid workers in the private sector receive N78,000 (seventy-eight thousand Naira per month) as clearly stated by the OPS, highlighting the stark disparity between the proposed and prevailing standards further demonstrating the minimum wage 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 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.

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“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 N30,000 (thirty thousand Naira) as mandated by law, augmented by Buhari’s 40% Peculiar allowance (N12,000) and the N35,000 (thirty-five thousand Naira) wage award, totalling N77,000 (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,” the statement partly read.

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