Labour Insists On Weighty Minimum Wage Upsurge

Labour Insists On Weighty Minimum Wage Upsurge
Labour Insists On Weighty Minimum Wage Upsurge

The Organised Labour in Nigeria, comprised of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), has taken a firm stance against minor increments to the previously proposed ₦60,000 minimum wage. TUC President Festus Osifo, in an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today, communicated this position clearly shortly after the suspension of the nationwide strike that commenced at the start of this week.

According to Osifo, during last Friday’s negotiation, the tripartite committee, which includes representatives from the Federal Government, states, and the Organised Private Sector, initially refused to propose any raise over the ₦60,000 figure. However, following Monday’s meeting, President Bola Tinubu committed to offering more than ₦60,000, which Labour awaits to see materialize.

The sequence of previous offers from the tripartite committee, which were all rejected by Labour, started at ₦48,000, then increased to ₦54,000, ₦57,000 and finally ₦60,000. Osifo underscored that the Organised Labour expects more than just trifling increments of a few thousand naira. The aim is to secure a wage that is economically viable, considering the soaring inflation rates.

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Though Osifo did not state a precise amount Organised Labour is advocating for, he made it clear that the new minimum wage should have the equivalent purchasing power to the ₦30,000 value of 2019 and ₦18,000 of 2014.

He also responded to the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi’s remarks on the strike as being “premature” and “illegal”. The TUC boss pointed out that Labour provided a one-month notice which expired on May 31, 2024, making the strike action justified.

Osifo believes that the brief strike has effectively drawn national attention to workers’ demands and underlined the seriousness with which Labour issues should be treated.

Following the call-off of the strike on Tuesday and President Tinubu’s directive to the Minister of Finance to draft a new minimum wage scheme by Wednesday, the focus is now on the tripartite committee to present a substantial and satisfactory proposal for the minimum wage.


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