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Minimum wage: FG, Labour’s meeting ends in deadlock

The National Minimum Wage Committee meeting which was held between members of the organised labour and the federal government in Abuja on Tuesday, ended in…

The National Minimum Wage Committee meeting which was held between members of the organised labour and the federal government in Abuja on Tuesday, ended in a stalemate, Daily Trust reports.

It was learnt that representatives of the federal government offered the minimum wage different from the N48,000 that was offered last week but members of the organised labour maintained their stance that only N615,000 is a living wage for workers.

Daily Trust had reported how members of both the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) stormed out in anger of a meeting that was held last week with a view to meet May 31 deadline.

The two labour centres after the meeting summoned an emergency press briefing where they wondered why the government and members of organised private sector disgraced Nigerian workers with what they described as “ridiculous offers”.

At the resumed meeting on Tuesday, our correspondent gathered that the representatives of government offered N54,000 as new minimum wage – the development that made the meeting to end in a stalemate.

When Daily Trust approached labour leaders for the outcome after the closed-door meeting that last hours, they all declined comments, saying the discussion was yet to “mature for public consumption”.

But an official of TUC, who later spoke our correspondent with directive that his name should not be mentioned explained that there were so much “macrebadance” before the government even put forward N54,000.

“After so much dilly-dallying, the federal government side at today’s minimum wage negotiation meeting proposed N54,000. But because the representatives of the state governors do not have the mandate to endorse or reject whatever federal government proposes, we will hear their decision before we respond.”

“So by tomorrow at 4pm when the meeting will sit again to continue the negotiations, we will hear their input and then reveal our position. We have also met with the Organised Private Sector (OPS) and discussed.

“Our intent is to have a hitch free negotiation on their side. We did this because we are poised to do everything possible to ensure that negotiation is concluded and Nigerian workers have a new minimum wage by May 31.

“We are very serious about taking actions in the interest of protecting and promoting the welfare of Nigerian workers. So on our part, we will do our best to ensure smooth negotiation.

“But any form of delay tactics on the government side will attract serious industry action. So for now, we have not revealed a new figure but tomorrow will tell,” the labour leader said.

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