Organized Labour VS FG: See Wage Award Senate Urges Labour to Accept Amid Ongoing Negotiations


Organized Labour VS FG: See Wage Award Senate Urges Labour to Accept Amid Ongoing Negotiations


The Senate has called on the Federal Government to maintain the payment of the N35,000 wage award to workers as discussions on a new minimum wage remain unresolved.


This appeal was made by the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, following a four-hour closed-door meeting with leaders from the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the Trade Union Congress (TUC), and several ministers. The meeting aimed to address the unions’ planned industrial action.


Akpabio urged the unions to postpone the strike for the benefit of the nation and its citizens. “We are appealing to the NLC and TUC to suspend the proposed strike and continue negotiations in the interest of all Nigerians,” he said.


Alhaji Mohammed Idris, the Minister of Information and National Orientation, reiterated the government’s commitment to continue the wage award payment until a new wage structure is established. “The Federal Government will keep paying the N35,000 wage award initiated in October 2023 until a new minimum wage is agreed upon,” Idris stated.


He expressed optimism that the unions would suspend the strike after extensive discussions with the National Assembly, labour leaders, and government representatives, stressing that Nigeria’s economy cannot afford a strike at this critical time. “We urge everyone to work together to ensure the nation’s prosperity, as a strike is not a viable solution at this juncture,” he added.


Idris also highlighted the government’s recognition of labour’s demands but urged the unions to consider the country’s economic challenges. He pointed out that meeting the labour’s demand for a N494,000 minimum wage would impose an unsustainable financial burden of N9.5 trillion on the nation.


Trade Union Congress (TUC) President, Festus Osifo, acknowledged the issues at hand but clarified that the union’s leadership alone cannot decide to call off the strike. “We will convey the National Assembly’s request to our members, as the decision to suspend the strike lies with our governing bodies,” Osifo explained.


The meeting included key figures such as the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume, and ministers from various departments including Labour and Employment, Finance, Information and National Orientation, Budget and National Planning, Science and Technology, Agriculture and Food Security, and the Head of Service of the Federation, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan. Also present was the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Joe Ajaero.


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