Labour vows to reject little addition to N60,000

Organized labor has vowed to oppose any small increase to the previously suggested N60,000 as the new minimum wage by the Federal Government.

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On Monday, the union’s leadership and the Federal Government’s representatives agreed on a new minimum wage of “above N60,000.”

However, in an interview, Festus Osifo, President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), stated that organized labor was not fixed on N494,000, but wanted a significant increase. When pressed to specify the amount they would accept, Osifo said the tripartite committee must offer workers something economically viable given the current high inflation.

Osifo stated that the new minimum wage must have the same purchasing power as N30,000 in 2019 and N18,000 in 2014.

There are indications that organized labor may now be willing to accept a N100,000 minimum wage when the Tripartite Committee on National Minimum Wage begins negotiations. Sources say union leaders are willing to lower their initial demand of N494,000 due to the criticism and controversy it caused.

The Minister of Information had stated that the proposed N494,000 minimum wage would result in an unmanageable annual spending of N9.5 trillion for the government.

On Monday, organized labor went on an indefinite strike over the government’s refusal to pay more than N60,000 as the new minimum wage. However, the strike was “relaxed” for one week following a meeting of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and TUC.

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has now directed the Minister of Finance to present the cost implications of a new minimum wage within two days. The president has also asked the negotiation teams to work together to propose a new sustainable and practical wage for Nigerians within one week.

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