• Monday, May 27, 2024
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BusinessDay

FG is yet to call us for new minimum wage – TUC president

Increasing minimum for civil servants won’t worsen inflation, says TUC president

Festus Osifo, president Trade Union Congress has said the government is yet to call organised labour on the proposed new minimum wage.

He made this known when he appeared as a guest on Arise Television on Wednesday.

Osifo said the 25 and 35 per cent pay rise announced by the government is a wage award, not minimum wage, saying the government can default at any time.

“What the government has done today does not substitute the minimum wage; it is a wage award that can be tinkered with anytime,” the TUC president said.

“In the past month now, we have not been called. A meeting has not been called. We have a timetable that should have led to the new minimum wage,” he added.

Reacting to the paltry sum of N7,000 paid to teachers in Borno State as salaries, Osifo described the payment as inhumane while calling on the state government to prioritise workers’ welfare and working conditions by reviewing the teachers’ salaries.

“It is shocking that teachers in Borno are still earning N7,000 per month,” Osifo said.

“This amount of money cannot even feed a family for a day, and the Borno State government has to review these teachers’ salaries immediately”, he added.

The president had in January set up a tripartite committee consisting of the government, labour and private sector representatives to review the N30,000 minimum wage introduced by former President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

Last month, the two major labour bodies in the country, the NLC and the TUC, submitted a proposal of N615,000 minimum wage to the committee.

The government failed to announce the new minimum wage at the May Day celebration on Wednesday as it had not accepted labour’s demand.

Many stakeholders have said the demands by organised labour are outrageous, claiming the country’s economy isn’t viable enough to afford such an amount.

Defending the proposed N615,000 minimum wage, Joe Ajaero, the president of NLC, during an interview on Channels Television on Wednesday, said the wage was arrived at after an analysis of the current economic situation and the needs of an average Nigerian family of six.

He said the last minimum wage of N30,000 expired on April 18.