• Monday, May 27, 2024
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TUC condemns N48,000 proposed minimum wage, says it can’t buy a bag of rice

Labour unions

The Trade Union Congress (TUC) has condemned the N48,000 minimum wage proposed by the federal government.

Festus Osifo, TUC president, stated in an interview with Channels Television on Wednesday that N48,000 is insufficient to purchase a bag of rice.

A meeting to discuss the national minimum wage ended suddenly when labour leaders angrily exited the discussion.

The federal government offered N48,000 as the new minimum wage, while the private sector offered N54,000.

Labour leaders expressed dissatisfaction with the government’s lack of detailed support for its proposal.

Labour insists on N615,000 as the minimum wage, considering the economy.

Speaking on the issue, Osifo remarked that the government appears noncommittal in negotiations. He mentioned that the government overlooked inflation and economic difficulties.

He warned that without continued negotiations, labour will no longer guarantee industrial harmony in the country.

He noted that the lowest federal ministry salary was N42,000 before President Muhammadu Buhari’s term ended.

He said, “Before President Muhammadu Buhari left office, the least person in the federal ministry was actually earning N42,000.

“If you now factor in the wage award of N35,000 that was given, N42,000 plus N35,000 will give us N77,000. So, as of today, what the least federal government worker earns is N77,000.

“So, the question that we now ask is that if the least federal government worker is earning N77,000, why are you now coming to present N48,000? It does not just make any sense.

“If you look at the value of N48,000 today… when we negotiated N18,000 in 2011, it could buy more than two bags of rice. N30,000 in 2019 could buy at least one and half bag of rice. N48,000 today cannot buy a bag of rice. How can a man survive with N48,000?

“We will communicate to Nigerians because what they have put on the table is completely abysmal in this era of inflation and economic challenges.”