Sat. Jun 15th, 2024

 

There are indications that the organised Labour may end its strike over the new minimum wage as it reached an agreement with the Federal Government on Monday.

After a six-hour meeting in Abuja, the Federal Government expressed the commitment of President Bola Tinubu to raising the N60,000 offered as the minimum wage.

The meeting, held in the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, on Monday evening aimed to resolve the impasse and bring an end to the industrial action that had paralysed various sectors across the country.

After extensive deliberations, several key resolutions were reached.

The agreement stated that “ the President of Nigeria, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, is committed to establishing a National Minimum Wage higher than N60,000; and the Tripartite Committee will convene daily for the next week to finalize an agreeable National Minimum Wage.”

The organised labour also agreed to “immediately hold meetings of its organs to consider this new offer, and no worker would face victimisation as a consequence of participating in the industrial action.”

These resolutions were signed on behalf of the Federal Government by Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, and Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha.

Representing the organised labour were the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Joe Ajaero, and the President of the Trade Union Congress, Festus Osifo.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government will on Tuesday (today) resume talks with organised Labour in a move to resuscitate the stalled minimum wage negotiation.

The meeting will be held amidst the nationwide strike which grounded the states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, on Monday.

The invitation to the meeting was signed by the Secretary of the Tripartite Committee on National Minimum Wage, Ekpo Nta.

The invite addressed to the labour leaders read, “I respectfully invite you to attend the 8th meeting of the Tripartite Committee on National Minimum Wage scheduled as follows: Date: Tuesday, June 4, 2024; Venue: Nicon Luxury Hotel, Area 11, Abuja; Time: 10am prompt.

“The minutes of the 7th meeting, the draft agenda for the 8th meeting and the Zoom link for virtual attendance will be forwarded to you in due course. Regards.’’

Worried by the crippling impact of the strike, the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, again, on Monday, called for more minimum wage negotiations.

In what he called “a very passionate, heartfelt and deeply considered appeal” to organised labour, the information minister said the cost of the proposed minimum wage would total N9.5tn annually for the Federal Government.

He said, “As we had explained earlier, Labour’s current proposal of N494,000 is an increase of 1,547 per cent on the existing wage and translates into an annual wage bill of N9.5trn for the Federal Government of Nigeria.’’

The minister called the labour unions to return to the negotiation table and promised that the Federal Government would be available to further the discussions.

Idris stated, “Yesterday (Sunday), the leadership of the National Assembly met with the unions. Today, we have offered yet another invitation to the unions to meet with us and continue our discussions.

 

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