• Saturday, June 15, 2024
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Strike uncertain as FG, NLC, TUC reach compromise

Labour rejects FG’s N60,000 minimum wage offer

Indications emerged on Sunday that labour may call of the propose strike, following talks between the Federal Government and organised labour.

Femi Gbajabiamila, the chief of staff to the president, who led the federal government team, announced after the meeting that the government and members of the organised labour reached agreements which the labour officials will take back to their respective organs for ratification.

Read also: Strike: FG, Labour Leaders begin talk in Aso Rock

Amongst the issues discussed was the decision by the federal government to spread the minimum wage increase across all the cadres of the federal civil servants as against the earlier announcement by President Bola Tinubu to limit the N25,000 to the low grade workers.

Joe Ajaero, President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Emma Ugboaja General Secretary of the NLC and Nuhu Toro, General Secretary of the Trade Union Congress, who were part of the meeting said they will take the decisions back to their various organs for ratification.

The two labour centres, the NLC and TUC had threatened to embark on a nationwide indefinite strike on October 3rd, 2023 to protest the fuel subsidy removal policy of the Federal Government.

In a statement by Mohammed Idris, Minister of Information and National Orientation, after the meeting, the Minister said both parties agreed that “issues in dispute can only be resolved when workers are at work and not when they are on strike”

The statement said Labour Unions argued for higher wage award and the Federal Government Team promised to present Labour’s request to President Bola Tinubu for further consideration.

They also resolved to constitute a sub-committee to work out the details of implementation of all items for consideration regarding government interventions to cushion the effect of fuel subsidy removal.

“The lingering matter of Road Transport Employees Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) and National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in Lagos State needs to be addressed urgently and Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who participated virtually, pledged to resolve the matter,” the statement read.

“NLC and TUC will consider the offers by the Federal Government with a view to suspending the planned strike to allow for further consultations on the implementation of the resolutions above.”

The Federal Government, on its part, announced N25,000 only as provisional wage increment for all treasury-paid federal government workers for six months.

The Federal Government also said it committed to fast-tracking the provision of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses to ease public transportation difficulties associated with the removal of PMS subsidy.

“The Federal Government commits to the provision of funds for micro and small-scale enterprises,” Idris added in the statement.

As part of measures to ease transportation, the government agreed that “VAT on diesel will be waived for the next 6 months.

The Federal Government also resolved to commence payment of N75,000 to 15 million households at N25,000 per month, for a three-month period from October-December 2023.

The labour delegation was led by NLC President, Joe Ajaero, Deputy President, TUC, Tommy Etim Okon, NLC General Secretary, Emma Ugboaja, TUC General Secretary, Nuhu Toro, among others.

Also in attendance were the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Lalong, the Minister of State, Labour, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, the Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Doris Uzoka-Anite, the Head of Service of the Federation, Folasade Yemi-Esan and the National Security Adviser (NSA), Nuhu Ribadu.