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Labour Sets May 31 Deadline for Minimum Wage Demands, Threatens Protest

The Organised Labour, comprising the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), has reiterated its May 31, 2024, ultimatum for the Federal Government to address its demands. These demands include implementing a new national minimum wage and reversing the recent electricity tariff hike.

This decision followed an emergency meeting of the National Executive Councils (NEC) of the NLC and TUC on Monday, which was convened to address urgent national issues affecting Nigerian workers. A significant point of discussion was the continued non-compliance with the 2019 National Minimum Wage Act by several state governments.

In a resolution jointly signed by NLC President Joe Ajaero and TUC leader Festus Osifo, the labour unions also directed their members in Anambra State to prepare for industrial action if the state government fails to meet workers’ demands by May 23, 2024.

“The NEC acknowledges the ongoing negotiations between the NLC/TUC, the Organised Private Sector (OPS), and the federal government regarding the new national minimum wage. While appreciating the efforts made thus far, the NEC emphasizes the urgency of reaching a fair and equitable agreement that reflects the true value of Nigerian workers’ contributions to the nation’s development and the current survival crisis facing Nigerians due to government policies,” the resolution stated.

The NEC affirmed its commitment to protecting workers’ interests and welfare during the negotiation process. It reiterated the ultimatum issued by the NLC and TUC to the federal government, which expires on May 31, stressing the non-negotiable nature of the workers’ demands. The NEC urged the government to prioritize resolving these issues to maintain industrial peace.

The NEC also directed all state councils, where state governments have not fully implemented the N30,000 National Minimum Wage and its consequential adjustments, to issue a joint two-week ultimatum to those governments to avoid industrial action.

Consequently, the NEC reaffirmed the NLC and TUC’s joint ultimatum to the Anambra State government, issued by its state councils. It instructed all affiliates and workers in Anambra to mobilize their members for a potential industrial action if the state government does not meet the workers’ demands by Thursday, May 23, 2024.

Last week, labour unions walked out of minimum wage negotiations with the government following the Federal Government’s proposal of N48,000. The unions described the offer as unacceptable.

According to NLC President Joe Ajaero, the government was not serious about negotiating a new minimum wage. TUC President Festus Osifo added that the N48,000 proposal was unreasonable, noting that the least federal workers already earn up to N77,000. Proposing N48,000 at this time, he said, is “abysmal.”

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