NLC,TUC Minimum Wage Meeting

NLC, TUC Minimum Wage Meeting

Strong Stance from Organised Labour

The workers’ unions in Nigeria are getting ready to take a firm stand against the suspension of wage increases for civil servants. The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) are planning an emergency meeting at the National Executive Council (NEC) level. If the government doesn’t address their concerns, this could lead to a potential strike.

Warning to Federal and State Governments

The leaders of the labor unions have issued a warning to both the federal and state governments. They are urging them to prepare for an increase in the minimum wage, which is currently set at N30,000 per month. The NLC and TUC emphasize that once the new minimum wage becomes law next year, state governors will be required to implement the adjustment.

Federal Government’s Budget Allocation

The Federal Government has allocated N1tn in its 2024 budget for minimum wage adjustments, promotion arrears, and severance benefits for civil servants. The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Idris Mohammed, has announced that the current N30,000 minimum wage will expire at the end of March 2024.

Threat of Prolonged Strike

Tommy Etim, Deputy President of the TUC, warns that there could be a prolonged strike during the next national executive council meeting if the government doesn’t address the issue promptly. The NLC has already expressed concern about the suspension of wage increases and the potential strike it might trigger.

Silence from State Governments

While the Federal Government has taken steps to address the new minimum wage, many state governments have remained silent on the matter. Labor leaders stress that failure to include adjustments for the new minimum wage in state budgets could lead to unrest among workers.

Negotiations Based on Real-Life Situations

Labor leaders emphasize that negotiations for a new minimum wage will take into account real-life situations. Factors such as the current inflation rate of about 28.2% and the rising cost of living will play a crucial role in determining the new minimum wage. The negotiation will focus on various components, including housing, transportation, and other essential needs.

States Must Comply

Benson Upah, the Head of Information at the NLC, asserts that once the new minimum wage becomes law, state governments must actively comply with it. He adds that states failing to include adjustments in their budgets will need to address the issue through supplementary appropriation.

Uniform Offer from Northern Governors

The governors of the 19 northern states, under the Northern Governors Forum, may make a uniform offer regarding wage increases for workers in the region. This decision has caused delays in making announcements on wage increases in some states, as they await the outcome of the governors’ meeting.

NLC and TUC Declare Imo State Strike

Updates from Specific States

The article provides updates on the wage increase situation in several states, including Kaduna, Benue, Borno, Ekiti, Edo, Osun, Delta, Kogi, Kwara, Abia, and Ogun. These updates include information on negotiations, promises of bonus payments, and state government preparations for the new minimum wage.

Conclusion

As the country awaits the signing of the new minimum wage into law, tensions between labor unions and government officials continue to rise. The emergency NEC meeting by the NLC and TUC is expected to shape the labor unions’ strategy and response to the government’s handling of wage increases and the upcoming minimum wage adjustments in 2024.

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