Labour Seeks Buhari’s Intervention on Minimum Wage

Organised labour has sought President Muhammadu Buhari’s intervention to resolve the dispute over the N30,000 new minimum wage.

At a meeting in Abuja on Wednesday, the FG and labour again failed to reach an agreement over payment of the new minimum wage.

While the FG is offering a 10 per cent salary increase for workers on grade level 07 to 14 and 5.5 per cent for those on grade level 15 to 17, labour is insistent on 29 per cent for workers on grade level 07 to 14 and 24 per cent for those on grade level 15 to 17.

However, both parties will resume negotiations in Abuja next week.

A source told our correspondent that labour was insistent on its demand while government negotiators refused to improve on their proposals.

The source said a meeting that was scheduled for today had been called off.

The source said, “We maintained our earlier position and demand at the meeting. Government negotiators were not ready to move from their position also. We have told to package our position and their own proposals and send to their principal (President Muhammadu Buhari) to look at the difference.

“We want him to look at it hoping that the FG will come up with better proposals. Whatever they come up with will be the subject of our meeting next week. Tomorrow’s meeting has been called off.”

Labour was not happy after FG on Monday attributed the delay in the implementation of the consequential adjustment of the new minimum wage to labour’s unrealistic demands.

The Chairman of the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission, Richard Egbule, said labour’s demands would significantly increase the total wage bill, hence the government would not accept labour’s proposed salary adjustments.

Responding to the claim, Secretary of the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council, Alade Lawal, in an interview with our correspondent said the government was trying to force labour to accept its proposal, adding that such would only make workers poorer.

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