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Minimum wage: Labour agrees to attend Tuesday talks

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Organised Labour has agreed to attend the ”negotiation” meeting of Tripartite Committee on the Minimum Wage slated for Tuesday.

Mr Etim Okon, Vice President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) gave the confirmation in an interview on Monday in Abuja.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the TUC had walked out on the negotiation meeting as the Federal Government proposed N48,000 as new minimum wage for workers in the country.

“The proposal falls significantly short of meeting our needs and aspirations,” the unions said.

Labour also accused the government of failure to provide any substantiated data to support their offer exacerbates the situation and lack of transparency and good faith undermines the credibility of the negotiation process.

”The federal government has apologised and the next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday and we are going to appear and present our demand.

“We will still be presenting the N615,000. It is what we presented before we walked out, though our submission was not rejected by the government.

“We only rejected the N48,000 that government presented. Because they did not show us how they arrived at that amount.

“That is taking cognizance of transportation, housing, food, utilities, health, education among others which are basic needs of the people.

“So government should come out clearly with what they are offering with the indices and variables and also how they arrived at that. This is all what we are saying,”he said.

Also, Mr Adewale-Smatt Oyerinde, Director-General of Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) told NAN that he hoped that the Tuesday meeting on the Tripartite Committee would be a successful.

Oyerinde said that the federal government had prevailed over what happened at the last meeting as labour had walked out of the negotiation process.

‘I am happy the government had prevailed on the issue and they would be coming back to the table for the actual negotiations.

“Everybody figure is valid, Labour N615,000 proposal is valid to the extent of labour reality, government N48,000 is valid to their reality. The private sector’s N54,000 is also valid to the present day reality.

“Like I said, we have moved back to the negotiation table properly, and we would look at alignment of positions. There will a lot of give and take,.

“Also there will be a consensus on what the National Minimum Wage will be and the committee will then make a recommendation to Mr President,” he said.

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