Minimum Wage: FG, Labour Fail To Conclude Negotiations

Organised labour and the Federal Government again failed to conclude negotiations over consequential adjustment in workers’ salaries as a result of the new minimum wage of N30,000 despite meeting for about nine hours.

The meeting began around 5pm on Wednesday and ended at 2am on Thursday.

At the end of the meeting, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, who presided over the meeting told journalists that specific jobs had been given to some committees that must be submitted before the negotiation would be said to be complete. He said the meeting would reconvene 7pm on Thursday.

Ngige said, “We have agreed on areas hitherto we could not agree on. We are adjourning the meeting. We are giving assignment to people on both sides and they are going to do the work and get back to us.

“The work involved is enormous. We are giving them the entire day to get back to us; issues of money and wage adjustment with different wage structures. We have 12 different wage structures presently in Nigeria.

“We don’t want to make mistake that would be fatal thereby put the whole exercise in jeopardy. We have consensually agreed that we will reconvene this meeting at 7pm today. This will enable those that we give assignment to complete them and get back to us. We are okay with the meeting moving on smoothly. It is very cordial. We disagreed on various issues but we have agreed.”

President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Ayuba Wabba, who was also part of the meeting, said that Nigerians would be given details of the negotiation and concessions made after the rescheduled meeting.

He said, “It was a collective bargaining process that has lasted this long. Some progress has been made but we have not been able to conclude and have a collective bargaining agreement. Some committees need to do some computation. We have worked up to the early hours of today. That is in the true spirit of collective bargaining. That is what we have to do to get the process concluded and conclude the
process.”

(The Punch)

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