The organized labour unions, comprising the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), have firmly rejected the Federal Government’s proposed N62,000 minimum wage for workers.

During an appearance on Channels TV’s Morning Brief on Monday, NLC’s Assistant General Secretary, Chris Onyeka, declared that the union would not negotiate a “starvation wage.”

Onyeka stated that if the Federal Government and the National Assembly fail to address workers’ demands by Tuesday, the NLC and TUC would convene to decide whether to resume the nationwide industrial action that was temporarily halted last week.

“Our position is very clear,” Onyeka said. “We have never considered accepting N62,000 or any other wage that we know is below what Nigerian workers can take home. We will not negotiate a starvation wage.

“We have never contemplated N100,000, let alone N62,000. We are still at N250,000; that is where we are, and that is what we consider a sufficient concession to the government and other social partners. Our stance is not driven by frivolities but by the realities of the marketplace—the cost of essential goods like rice, yam, garri, and so forth.

“The Federal Government and the National Assembly have the responsibility now. It is not our call. Our demand is clear for the government to review, submit an executive bill to the National Assembly, and for the Assembly to enact a national minimum wage law that meets our demands.

“If our demands are not met, we have given the federal government a one-week notice to address the issues, which expires tomorrow. If we do not see a tangible response from the government by then, the organized labour will meet to decide the next steps.

“We were clear in our communication. We said we were suspending a nationwide indefinite strike. It’s like putting it on pause. If the unions decide to lift that pause, we will resume the strike.”

The labour unions had initially suspended their strike for a week after the Federal Government requested time for negotiations following a nationwide strike that significantly impacted the country on Monday.


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