Labour Unions Reaffirm May 31 Ultimatum to Federal Government

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) have reiterated their ultimatum to the Federal Government, demanding the implementation of a new national minimum wage and the reversal of the electricity tariff hike by May 31, 2024.
This decision followed an emergency meeting of the National Executive Councils (NEC) of both unions on Monday, addressing urgent national issues impacting Nigerian workers. A significant focus was on the non-compliance of some state governments with the 2019 National Minimum Wage Act.
In a resolution signed by NLC President Joe Ajaero and TUC leader Festus Osifo, the 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 crisis of survival facing Nigerians as a result of government’s policies.
“The NEC affirms its commitment to ensuring that the interests and welfare of workers are adequately protected in the negotiation process. The NEC-in-session therefore reiterates the ultimatum issued by the NLC and TUC to the federal government, which expires on the last day of this month.
“It emphasizes the non-negotiable nature of the demands put forth by Nigerian workers and urges the government to prioritize the resolution of these issues in the best interest of industrial peace.
“NEC-in-session further directed all state Councils whose state Governments are yet to fully implement the N30,000 (Thirty-thousand Naira) National Minimum Wage and its consequential adjustments to issue immediately a joint two-week ultimatum to the culpable state Governments to avert industrial action.
“Consequently, the NEC-in-session accordingly reaffirms the NLC and TUC joint ultimatum earlier issued the Anambra state government by its Anambra state councils. It therefore directed all affiliates and workers in the state council to mobilize their members to ensure a successful action in the event the state government fails to meet the demands of workers by Thursday, the 23rd of May, 2024,” the unions so resolved.
Labour Walks Out of Negotiations
Last week, labour unions walked out of minimum wage negotiations with the government following a N48,000 proposal from the Federal Government, which the unions deemed inadequate.
NLC President Joe Ajaero criticized the government for not taking the negotiations seriously, while TUC President Festus Osifo described the proposal as “abysmal,” noting that the least federal workers already earn up to N77,000.
N615,000 Wage Proposal
On April 14, the Organised Labour demanded a new minimum wage of N615,000 to address the economic challenges and high cost of living in Nigeria.
They argued that the current N30,000 minimum wage is insufficient, especially as not all governors are complying with it. The wage, set by the Minimum Wage Act of 2019, expired in April 2024 and should be reviewed every five years to align with economic realities.
The NLC and TUC have consistently urged President Bola Tinubu’s administration to expedite the upward review of wage awards.
In January, the Federal Government inaugurated a 37-man Tripartite Committee on National Minimum Wage to recommend a new wage.
As the May 31 deadline approaches, the labour unions remain firm in their demands, emphasizing the need for immediate action to improve the welfare of Nigerian workers.
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