NewsWe'll Not Negotiate Starvation Wage - Labour Rejects N62,000 Pay, Threatens To...

We’ll Not Negotiate Starvation Wage – Labour Rejects N62,000 Pay, Threatens To Resume Strike

June 11,(THEWILL)- The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has rejected the proposed ₦62,000 minimum wage, deeming it a “starvation wage” for Nigerian workers.

THEWILL recalls that Organised labour on Tuesday suspended its nationwide indefinite strike for one week to allow room for negotiation after it rejected the N60,000 earlier proposed by the Federal Government as National minimum wage.

On Friday, the Federal Government and Organised Private Sector (OPS) through the Tripartite Committee, offered N62,000 even as Organised Labour shifted its demand from N494,000 to N250,000 National minimum wage

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Speaking on Channels Television’s on Monday, NLC Assistant General Secretary, Chris Onyeka, reiterated the union’s demand for a ₦250,000 minimum wage, as presented at the last Tripartite Committee meeting on Friday.

Onyeka emphasised that the one-week grace period given to the Federal Government last week, would expire at midnight on 11 June.

He warned that if the government and National Assembly fail to meet the workers’ demands by then, the NLC and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) would reconvene to determine the resumption of the nationwide strike.

His words: “We have never considered accepting ₦62,000 or any other wage that we know is below what we know is able to take Nigerian workers 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’re not just driven by frivolities but the realities of the marketplace; realities of things we buy every day: bag of rice, yam, garri, and all of that.

“Our demand is there for them (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.

“If after tomorrow (Tuesday), we have not seen any tangible response from the government, the organs of the organised labour will meet to decide on what next.

“It was clear what we said. We said we are relaxing a nationwide indefinite strike. It’s like putting a pause on it. So, if you put a pause on something and that 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.”

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