NewsN48,000 Minimum Wage Is Mockery, Insult - Labour Tells FG

N48,000 Minimum Wage Is Mockery, Insult – Labour Tells FG

May 16, (THEWILL) – The Organised labour has rejected a N48,000 minimum wage by the federal government, describing the proposal in the face of current economic realities as mockery and insult to workers’ dignity.

THEWILL reported earlier that representatives of the organised labour had walked out of the tripartite virtual meeting, which was held on Wednesday, following the federal government’s proposal of N48,000 minimum wage for public service workers.

President Bola Tinubu, through Vice President Kashim Shettima, on January 30, inaugurated the 37-member tripartite committee to come up with a new minimum wage.

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With its membership cutting across federal, and state governments, the private sector, and organised labour, the panel is to recommend a new national minimum wage for the country.

Tinubu had on May Day, promised workers a living wage, assuring them that their days of waiting for a living wage were over.

However, rising from its emergency meeting on Wednesday, the NLC and TUC said N48,000 minimum wage in the face of the current economic realities is not just a mockery, but insult to workers’ dignity.

NLC President, Joe Ajaero, and TUC Deputy President, Comrade Tommy Etim Okon, in a joint statement read at a press briefing in Abuja, expressed disappointment that the government is proposing a wage reduction instead of an increment.

The statement titled, “Minimum Wage: Government Presents Wage Reduction” reads: “We are disappointed as negotiations at the Tripartite National Minimum Wage resumed today but reached an unfortunate impasse as a 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 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.

“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, totalling 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 reflect the true value of the contributions made by Nigerian workers to the nation’s development and the objective socioeconomic realities that confront 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 to ensure a Living wage for Nigerian workers.”

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