Minimum Wage: Organised Labour Pulls Out of Negotiations with FG

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) have withdrawn from the ongoing minimum wage negotiations with the Federal Government. This decision follows what they perceive as “ridiculous offers” made by the government and the Organised Private Sector (OPS) of N48,000 and N54,000, respectively. Sources reveal that the government failed to provide data to support its proposal, unlike Organised Labour, while the OPS asserted that none of its members pays less than N78,000.

The withdrawal of NLC and TUC from the negotiations highlights the deep divide between the proposed wage increases and the expectations of workers. With the May 31 deadline set by organised labour approaching, the impasse underscores the challenges in reaching a consensus that balances the interests of workers, employers, and the government.

The federal government’s efforts to convene a meeting of the Tripartite Committee on the New National Minimum Wage underscore its recognition of the urgency to address this issue. However, the inability to bridge the gap between stakeholders underscores the complexity of the negotiations and the need for constructive dialogue and compromise.

The withdrawal of NLC and TUC adds pressure on all parties to resume negotiations and find common ground before the deadline. Failure to reach an agreement could lead to further disruptions and tensions in the labour market, with potential implications for productivity, industrial relations, and socio-economic stability.

As negotiations continue, stakeholders must demonstrate flexibility, transparency, and commitment to finding a fair and sustainable solution that addresses the concerns of workers while considering the economic realities and capacities of employers and the government. Finding a mutually acceptable outcome remains essential for fostering trust, promoting social justice, and advancing the welfare of workers in Nigeria.

President Bola Tinubu on January 30 inaugurated the tripartite committee to come up with a new minimum wage.The committee is chaired by the former Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Goni Aji.

The labour had threatened to embark on a nationwide strike if discussions on the new minimum wage were not concluded on May 31.

The labour unions are insisting on N615,000 as the new national minimum wage in the country.