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NLC, TUC Walk Out Of FG’s Negotiation On Minimum Wage Over N48,000 Offer

Daud Olatunji

 

Negotiations over the National Minimum Wage between the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC), and the Federal Government on Wednesday,  hit a snag.

 

This development resulted  in the withdrawal of the labour unions from the negotiation table.

 

PLATFORM TIMES reports that the  stalemate arose from the government’s proposal of a reduced minimum wage of N48,000, a figure vehemently opposed by the unions.

 

The unions in a statement released shortly after the botched meeting expressed deep disappointment.

 

The NLC and TUC criticized the government’s perceived lack of seriousness in engaging in reasonable negotiations with Nigerian workers.

 

PLATFORM TIMES further gathered that despite earnest efforts to reach an equitable agreement, the unions assert that the government’s proposal falls significantly short of meeting the needs and aspirations of workers.

 

While the Organised Private Sector (OPS) initially offered N54,000, the unions argue that even the least-paid workers in the private sector receive N78,000 per month, underscoring the disparity between proposed wages and prevailing standards.

 

The unions added that the disparity further underscores what the unions perceive as the unwillingness of employers and the government to negotiate a fair National Minimum Wage for Nigerian workers.

 

They also stated that the government’s failure to provide substantiated data to support their offer has compounded the situation, eroding trust and credibility in the negotiation process.

 

The unions emphasize that accepting such a proposal would result in a reduction in income for federal-level workers, who are already mandated to receive N30,000 per month, augmented by additional allowances.

 

In response to the deadlock, the NLC and TUC have decided to walk out of the negotiation process to prevent the negotiation of a wage deduction.

 

However, they reaffirm their commitment to advocating for the rights and interests of Nigerian workers and express willingness to resume dialogue with the government if serious commitment to finding a fair and sustainable resolution is demonstrated.

 

The unions call upon the government to reconsider its position and approach the negotiation table with transparency, reflecting the true value of the contributions made by Nigerian workers to the nation’s development.

 

The unions had earlier  proposed a minimum wage of N615,000, saying it was  based on evidence and data, aligning with the pledge of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to ensure a living wage for Nigerian workers.

 

President of NLC, Comrade Joe Ajaero, and Deputy President of TUC, Comrade Tommy Etim Okon, underscore their dedication to advancing the interests of Nigerian workers and urge the government to engage in reasonable dialogue to address this impasse.

 

The Statement :

 

NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE NEGOTIATION: GOVERNMENT

PRESENTS WAGE REDUCTION

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) express profound disappointment as negotiations at the Tripartite National Minimum Wage resumed today but reached an unfortunate impasse as result of the apparent unseriousness of the Government to engage in reasonable negotiation with Nigerian workers.

 

Despite earnest efforts to reach an equitable agreement, the less than e reasonable action of the Government and the Organised Private Sector (OPS) has led to a breakdown in negotiations.

 

The Government’s proposal of a paltry N48,000 (forty-eight thousand Naira) as the Minimum Wage does not only insult the sensibilities of Nigerian workers but also falls significantly short of meeting our needs and aspirations. In contrast the Organised Private Sector (OPS) proposed an initial offer of N54,000 (fifty-four thousand Naira) though it is worth noting that even the least paid workers in the private sector receives N78,000 (seventy-eight thousand Naira per month) as clearly stated by the OPS, highlighting the stark disparity between the proposed minimum wage and prevailing standards further demonstrating the unwillingness of Employers and Government to faithfully negotiate a fair National Minimum Wage for Workers in Nigeria.

 

Furthermore, the Government’s failure to provide any substantiated data to support their offer exacerbates the situation. This lack of transparency and good faith undermines the credibility of the negotiation process and erodes trust between the parties involved.

 

As representatives of Nigerian workers, we cannot in good conscience accept a wage proposal that would result in a reduction in income for federal-level workers who are already receiving N30,000 (thirty thousand Naira) as mandated by law, augmented by Buhari’s 40% Peculiar allowance (N12,000) and the N35,000 (thirty-five thousand Naira) wage award, totaling N77,000 (seventy-seven thousand Naira) only.

Such a regressive step would undermine the economic well being of workers and their families and is unacceptable in a National Minimum Wage Fixing process.

In light of these developments, and in order to prevent the negotiation of a wage deduction, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) have taken the decision to walk out of the negotiation process.

We remain committed to advocating for the rights and interests of Nigerian workers and will continue to engage in reasonable dialogue with the Government if they show serious commitment to find a fair and sustainable resolution to this impasse.

 

We call upon the Government to reconsider its position and come to the negotiation table with clear hands that reflects the true value of the contributions made by Nigerian workers to the nation’s development and the objective socioeconomic realities that confronts not just Nigerian workers but Nigerians today as a result of the policies of the federal government.

 

Together, in a reasonable dialogue, we can work to give Nigerian workers a N615,000 (Six hundred and Fifteen thousand Naira) National Minimum wage as proposed by us on the basis of evidence and Data.

 

This will be in keeping with the pledge of the President; his Excellency Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s pledge to ensure a Living wage for Nigerian workers.

President (NLC) ,Comrade Joe Ajaero Esq.President (NLC) And

Deputy President (TUC), Comrade Tommy Etim Okon (PhD)

 

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