Minimum Wage: FG warns Labour against strike

organised labour strike

The Federal Government has reacted to the proposed strike by organised labour, set to take off on Monday, saying it would compound the economic woes of citizens.

The Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Nkeiruka Onyejoecha, who reacted on behalf of the government, cautioned that any new minimum wage must not lead to widespread job losses, particularly in the Organised Private Sector, which employs the bulk of the nation’s workforce.

She warned that the strike is not in the best interests of the country and its people, especially when negotiations are ongoing.

Recall that owing to failure of parties in the tripartite committee to reach a compromise on a new national minimum wage, the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, and Trade Union Congress, TUC, decided to embark on strike on June 3.

“Going on strike in the middle of ongoing negotiations would not only compound the economic woes but also exacerbate the suffering of millions of Nigerians who are already struggling to eke out a living from their daily endeavors,” Onyejeocha said through her media aide, Emameh Gabriel.

She noted that the “government has consistently demonstrated commitment and goodwill throughout the negotiations with organised labour”.

According to the Labour Minister, the government’s proposals were carefully crafted, taking into account the country’s economic realities and incorporating innovative solutions.

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She listed these proposals to include a comprehensive package featuring a wage increase to N60,000 for federal workers, the introduction of CNG-fueled buses, and enhanced financial access for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

Additionally, according to her, the government has pledged investments in strategic sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, education, healthcare and many others that are already in the pipeline.

“This sector is crucial to the country’s economic growth and stability. The government’s stance is rooted in a deep understanding of the negotiations, demonstrating its dedication to finding a balance between the needs of workers and the economic realities of the country. The goal is to establish a minimum wage that is not only realistic but also sustainable, avoiding any potentially detrimental consequences for the economy.

“By adopting this approach, the government aims to safeguard the interests of both workers and employers, ensuring that any agreement reached is mutually beneficial and does not jeopardise the country’s economic progress. This balanced stance is crucial for maintaining harmony in the workforce and driving national growth”, she explained.

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