HomePoliticsLabor Union Awaits Tinubu's Verdict On New Minimum Wage

Labor Union Awaits Tinubu’s Verdict On New Minimum Wage

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As the deadline for minimum wage negotiations looms, the Nigerian labour leaders are on tenterhooks, awaiting President Bola Tinubu’s decision on their N250,000 proposal. The outcome will have far-reaching implications for the nation’s workforce.

The clock is ticking, as labour unions have issued a Monday ultimatum for the conclusion of minimum wage talks, leaving little room for further deliberation.

Friday’s Tripartite Committee meeting brought the minimum wage debate to a head, with the government and private sector presenting a united front on N62,000, even as labour representatives dug in their heels on a significantly higher figure of N250,000.

The Nigeria Governors Forum weighed in on the minimum wage debate, cautioning that any figure north of N60,000 would be economically unfeasible, casting doubt on the viability of the proposed hike.

On Sunday, labour leaders shared with our correspondents that the negotiations have reached a critical juncture, with the President’s decision on the tripartite committee’s proposals eagerly anticipated.

Sources within the labour movement revealed that NLC President Joe Ajaero and other senior officials have travelled to Geneva, Switzerland, to attend a high-level conference organized by the International Labour Organisation.

Upon their return from Geneva, labour leaders will gather for a pivotal National Executive Council meeting, where they will deliberate on the President’s feedback and determine the next course of action regarding the strike.

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“We have submitted the report to the president and we are waiting for him to make his decision. That is the most important thing and that is what we are all waiting for.

“As it stands some of us are on the way to Geneva for the ILO conference. Some of us are going today (Sunday), some have gone already while others Before we can even hold a NEC meeting, we must come back from Geneva first. Also, we are trying to be careful so the government won’t say Labour is inciting citizens against the government. Also, you know they are in charge of the military so we are trying to be careful about that. This is why we are waiting,” a top NLC official said.

When asked about Monday’s ultimatum, another source within the NLC said, “Well, we have sent a report to the committee and we are expecting the president to act on it.

“We should hold a National Executive Council meeting regarding the ultimatum when we return from Geneva. It is very important for us to be there but right now, we are patiently waiting for the decision of Mr President.”

The labour movement, led by the NLC and TUC, flexed its muscles last week with a two-day nationwide strike, pressing for a new minimum wage and a reversal of the electricity tariff increase that has left consumers reeling.

After a brief but intense standoff, labour leaders agreed to a five-day cooling-off period, pledging to resume negotiations with the government and produce a new minimum wage deal within a week.

A marathon meeting between labour leaders and National Assembly members in Abuja on Monday night yielded a breakthrough, leading to a temporary halt in the strike.

To jumpstart the stalled negotiations, the President on Tuesday ordered Finance Minister Wale Edun to swiftly prepare a report outlining the economic ramifications of the proposed minimum wage increase, due in just two days.

The President instructed government officials to collaborate with the private sector and state governments to negotiate a new minimum wage that balances the needs of workers with the country’s economic realities.

On Thursday, President Tinubu met with Finance Minister Wale Edun and Budget and National Planning Minister Atiku Bagudu at the Presidential Villa to discuss the financial implications of introducing a new national minimum wage, a move aimed at boosting workers’ pay.

The Eastern Updates 

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