Don’t transmit minimum wage bill without negotiation, Labour tells Tinubu

Don’t transmit minimum wage bill without negotiation, Labour tells Tinubu

The Organised Labour has urged President Bola Tinubu to consider consulting and reaching an agreement with its leadership before transmitting the proposed bill on the new minimum wage to the National Assembly.
This was as the union admitted that their much-anticipated meeting of the National Executive Committee, which will accommodate about 300 Labour leaders, is being stalled by Tinubu’s delay in forwarding the bill.
In his Democracy Day broadcast on Wednesday, the President had announced that a consensus had been reached between the Federal Government and Labour on the new minimum wage, a claim both the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress debunked.
Tinubu also assured that an executive bill would soon be sent to the National Assembly to formalise the agreement, emphasising his administration’s preference for a democratic approach over dictatorship in dealing with labour matters.
But almost a month after his speech, the former Lagos governor has left the camp of Labour and Nigerians waiting in anxiety on what the FG is up to.
One of the key leaders of the congress, who preferred not to be mentioned, expressed disappointment over the development in an exclusive phone chat with newsmen.
He said, “As things stand, we cannot really do anything until we are aware of what they are trying to do. The delay in sending the bill to the National Assembly is even the reason we have yet to call for our NEC meeting. The President is supposed to decide on the impasse and then forward the bill to them. They need to come up with an official statement before we can decide on what to tell our people.
“If he (Tinubu) singlehandedly takes a decision, you know it can’t be the same as the decision of the National Assembly. He needs to send the bill so the lawmakers can amend whatever he is sending and call for a public hearing. So we are waiting for him to make his move.
“But if he is wise as we believe, he will not make that move without consulting us directly before even sending the bill. If he sends the bill based on the position of his government, it means he has taken sides. The wiser thing is for him to intervene since there is a stalemate with the people he sent to negotiate with us.
“But again, we know the Presidency has no idea of what to do and they don’t consult. You only need to sit with some of these people in government to know they are empty. That is the situation at the moment.”
The source, however, ruled out the option of the strike should the FG stick to the N62,000 it earlier proposed.
The last time the NLC and the TUC held a joint extraordinary National Executive Council was on June 4.
It was an emergency gathering to determine whether to continue its strike or shelve it following the agreement they reached with the government.
On Tuesday, May 28, talks between the Federal Government and Organised Labour broke down after the government and the Organised Private Sector raised their offers to N62,000.
Labour described the proposal as an insult to the intelligence of the average Nigerian worker, who deserves far better than what the government offered.
But the Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, insisted last week that the N250,000 wage being demanded by the workers’ union was unsustainable, warning that the Federal Government cannot channeled all its resources to meet such a demand.
Onanuga had disclosed in an exclusive interview with newsmen that unless the NLC and TUC are selfish, they should consider that the resources meant for the entire Nigerians cannot be channeled for only the benefit of their members who are not up to 10 per cent of the entire population.
Meanwhile, a former Governor of Abia, Senator Orji Kalu, has urged the Federal Government to consider raising the minimum wage to N90,000 following the impasse between labour unions and its negotiating team.
Kalu made the appeal after his closed-door meeting with the current Abia Governor, Alex Otti, in his country home in the Isiala-Ngwa South Local Government Area of the state.
According to him, the government’s proposal of N62,000 might sound good enough but falls below expectations given the current hyperinflation and hardship in the country.
He said, “I also believe that N62,000 cannot do anything. I propose N90, 000. Why I propose N90,000 is very simple. We have not increased the minimum wage in five years,
“I might be different from so many people that are in government but I’m a practical person. The civil servants need some good treatment and good behaviour.”

Written by:

1,097 Posts

View All Posts
Follow Me :

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *