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  • News - North Central - FCT
  • Updated: June 13, 2024

Labour disputes Tinubu's claim of agreement on minimum wage, accuses government of intimidation, misinformation

Labour disputes Tinubu's claim of agreement on minimum wage,

The Organised Labour has vehemently rejected President Bola Tinubu's assertion that a deal had been reached on a new national minimum wage, contradicting his Democracy Day address.

Labour claims that no agreement was reached by the Tripartite Committee on June 7, and instead, two figures - N250,000 from labour and N62,000 from the government and Organised Private Sector - were submitted to the President.

NLC acting President, Prince Adewale Adeyanju, stated: "We had expected Mr President to harmonise the two figures submitted to him in favour of workers and masses.

"Our demand remains N250,000, and we have not been given any compelling reasons to change this position. We appreciate the President's commitment to democratic ideals, but he has been misinformed regarding the outcome of the wage negotiation process."

Adeyanju also alleged that labour leaders were intimidated and harassed during negotiations, and that the President's advisers had misled him.

"We were threatened severally by his operatives, and series of media propaganda calculated to intimidate and harass us were waged against the trade unions by senior officials of this government. Fully armed soldiers surrounded us while we were in a negotiation with the government."

Labour also disputed the President's claim that an agreement was reached on a 5-year duration for the minimum wage Act, stating that they only agreed to peg inflation at a certain level to determine the minimum wage.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government has urged labour to be realistic in their demands, emphasizing that relief for Nigerians will come from various packages, including efforts to reduce the cost of living and increase the purchasing power of citizens.

Minister of Information Mohammed Idris said: "We want labour to understand that the relief Nigerians are expecting will not come only in the form of an increase in wages... It will also come from efforts to reduce the cost of living and ensure more money stays in the pockets of Nigerians."

The minister highlighted the Presidential CNG initiative as an example, which he claimed would cut transportation costs by 50%. However, labour remains skeptical, insisting that their demand for a N250,000 minimum wage is reasonable and long overdue. The stalemate continues, with labour threatening industrial action if their demands are not met.

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