Minimum wage : FG reacts to NLC, TUC’s planned strike

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The President Bola Tinubu-led Federal Government has appealed to the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to reconsider their decision to commence an indefinite strike on Monday, June 3, 2024.

The planned strike is in response to the government’s refusal to increase the proposed minimum wage from N60,000.

Minister of Information and National Orientation, Idris Mohammed, emphasized the importance of prioritizing the interests of the general public in an interview with PUNCH.

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He described the NLC and TUC as essential partners in the nation’s development and cautioned that industrial action is not the solution to the ongoing wage negotiations.

This plea followed the labour unions’ declaration of a nationwide strike, aimed at compelling the government to finalize a new minimum wage law and reverse the recent electricity tariff hike to N65/kWh.

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NLC President Joe Ajaero, reading a joint statement with TUC leader Festus Osifo, expressed deep disappointment over the government’s failure to pass the new National Minimum Wage Act and address the electricity tariff issue.

Ajaero criticized the government’s absence at a recent negotiation meeting, indicating a lack of commitment to resolving the wage dispute. He pointed out that despite the unions’ ultimatum issued during the last May Day celebration, there has been no meaningful progress from the government.

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The labour unions had also demanded the reversal of the electricity tariff increase from N225/kWh to N65/kWh and the end of the consumer band categorization. A nationwide protest on May 13, 2024, highlighted the unions’ demands, but the government’s response has been inadequate, according to Ajaero.

In light of the government’s inaction, the NLC and TUC have issued a notice of an indefinite nationwide strike, beginning June 3, 2024. The unions are urging all affiliates, civil society organizations, and the general public to support the strike to ensure fair wages and living conditions for Nigerian workers.

READ ALSO: Minimum Wage: NLC, TUC Issue May 31 Deadline For Nationwide Strike

 

 

The recent breakdown in wage negotiations marks the latest setback in a series of failed talks. Despite the government’s offer to raise the minimum wage to N60,000, labor unions dismissed the proposal, having initially lowered their demand to N494,000 from N497,000.

The wage committee, inaugurated by Vice President Kashim Shettima in January 2024, was tasked with recommending a new national minimum wage.

However, the ultimatum set by the labour unions expired without a resolution, prompting the planned industrial action.

 

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