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Minimum Wage Stalemate: Labour Rejects FG’s N60k Offer, Potential Strike Looms in June

In a significant development on the minimum wage negotiation front, the organised labour has once again rejected the federal government’s updated N60,000 minimum wage proposal. This decision came at the end of the tripartite committee meeting held in Abuja on Tuesday.

Repeated Rejections
This marks the fourth proposal the labour leaders have turned down in the past two months, highlighting the ongoing deadlock between the government and labour unions. The discussions on minimum wage have been fraught with disagreements, with the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) standing firm on their demands.

Labour’s Demands
Initially, labour unions demanded a substantial increase, setting their sights on a N615,000 minimum wage. This demand was later slashed to N497,000 as a mark of compromise, yet it still remains significantly higher than the government’s offers.

Government’s Proposals
The last meeting held on May 22 ended without resolution, with the federal government’s proposal of N57,000 being met with condemnation. In response, the government slightly increased the offer to N60,000, hoping to reach a middle ground. However, this new offer was also swiftly rejected by the labour leaders.

Labour’s Stance
Benson Upah, the NLC Head of Information, expressed the union’s dissatisfaction with the government’s offer. In an interview with THE WHISTLER, he said:

“We cannot accept N60,000 as minimum wage, what will this get a common man every month? If the federal government is sincere, they should be able to break things down by backing their proposal, but they can’t. The government brought this upon itself and the people through its various economic reforms and policies.”

Upah also refuted claims that labour was demanding N100,000, clarifying that their last official demand was N494,000.

Deadlock and Future Actions
A source close to the negotiation table confirmed that the N60,000 proposal was not considered a serious offer by the labour leaders. The discussions have stalled, and the meeting was adjourned indefinitely, with the federal government yet to communicate a new date for the negotiations.

Potential Strike
With the continued impasse, there are growing concerns about a potential strike. A member of the minimum wage negotiation committee hinted that labour might begin an indefinite strike after May 31st if the government fails to present an acceptable minimum wage proposal.

The ongoing deadlock over the minimum wage issue reflects deep-seated tensions and highlights the broader economic challenges facing Nigeria. As the deadline for a new minimum wage looms, the potential for a nationwide strike grows, posing significant implications for the country’s economy and workforce. The next steps by both the government and the labour unions will be crucial in determining whether a resolution can be reached or if the nation will face widespread industrial action in June.

Stay tuned for further updates on this evolving story as we monitor the developments closely.

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Written by Joe

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