Labour rejects N62000 minimum wage proposal, says N100000 not acceptable

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The organised labour, comprising the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) on Monday rejected the N62, 000 minimum wage proposal by the government and the organised private sector.

It described the offer as “starvation wage,” adding that it would not even accept N100, 000 as the minimum wage.

The assistant secretary general of the NLC, Mr Chris Onyeka, who announced this in an interview on a Channels Television programme said: “Our position is very clear; we have never considered accepting ₦62,000 or any other wage that we know is below what Nigerian workers can take home. We will not negotiate a starvation wage.

“We have never contemplated ₦100,000 let alone of ₦62,000. We are still at ₦250,000; that is where we are, and that is what we considered enough concession to the government and the other social partners in this particular situation.

“We are not just driven by frivolities but also by the realities of the market place—the realities of things we buy every day: bags of rice, yam, garri, and all of that.”

Onyeka said the one-week ultimatum given to the federal government since the”relaxation of its strike” would expire by midnight on Tuesday, June 11.

He said should the federal government and national assembly fail to act on the demands of workers by tomorrow, the joint NLC and TUC would meet to decide on the resumption of the nationwide industrial action.

“The federal government and the national assembly have the call now. It is not our call. Our demand is there for the government to look at and send an executive bill to the national assembly and for the national assembly to look at what we have demanded, the various facts of the law, and then come up with a national minimum act that meets our demands,” he said.

He hinted on the possibility of the two labour centres calling for the resumption of the nationwide minimum wage strike which began on Monday, June 4 and was temporarily put on hold on June 5 to enable the parties resume talks on the contentious issue.
“If that does not meet our demand, we have given the federal government one-week notice to look at the issues and that one week expires tomorrow. If, after tomorrow, we have not seen any tangible response from the government, the organs of the organised labour will meet to decide what to do next.

“It was clear what we said. We said we were relaxing a nationwide indefinite strike. It’s like putting a pause on it. So, if you put a pause on something and the organs that govern us as trade unions decide that we should remove that pause, it means that we go back to what was in existence before,” he said.

Recall that the federal government’s and the organised private sector’s representatives in the 37-man tripartite committee on national minimum wage had made an offer of N62, 000, up from N60, 000 while the organised labour represented by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) came down from N494, 000 to N250, 000.