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Minimum wage: Labour insists on May 31 deadline, threatens Anambra protest

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THE organized labor represented by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) has restated their ultimatum to the Federal Government, set for May 31, 2024, to fulfill their demands.

These demands include implementing a new national minimum wage and reversing the increase in electricity tariffs.

This reaffirmation came after an emergency meeting of the National Executive Councils (NEC) of the NLC and TUC today, in response to critical national issues affecting Nigerian workers.

One of the key issues discussed was the persistent failure of some state governments to comply with the 2019 National Minimum Wage Act.

In a joint resolution signed by NLC President Joe Ajaero and TUC leader Festus Osifo, the labor unions also instructed their members in Anambra State to prepare for industrial action if the state government does not meet the workers’ demands by May 23, 2024.

The NEC acknowledged the ongoing negotiations between the NLC/TUC, Organized Private Sector (OPS), and the federal government regarding the new national minimum wage.

While appreciating the progress made, the NEC stressed the urgency of reaching a fair agreement that recognizes the value of Nigerian workers and addresses the current economic challenges faced by Nigerians.

The NEC reiterated the ultimatum issued to the federal government, emphasizing the non-negotiable nature of the workers’ demands and urging the government to prioritize resolving these issues for industrial peace.

Additionally, the NEC directed state councils to issue a two-week ultimatum to state governments that have not fully implemented the N30,000 National Minimum Wage, to prevent industrial action.

The NEC also reaffirmed the ultimatum issued to the Anambra state government and instructed affiliates and workers to mobilize for action if the demands are not met by May 23, 2024.

Recall that the labor unions walked out of wage negotiations with the government last week after rejecting the government’s N48,000 proposal, deeming it inadequate.

The NLC and TUC had previously demanded a new minimum wage of N615,000 to address the economic challenges and high cost of living in Nigeria.

With the labor unions consistently calling for the review of wage rewards to meet the economic needs of workers, urging the government to expedite the process of increasing the minimum wage.

The Federal Government in January, established a Tripartite Committee on National Minimum Wage to recommend a new wage rate for the country.