MINIMUM WAGE: Another 7-hour Govt/Labour meeting ends inconclusive

Waba’s Monday protest directive unlawful, Ngige tells workers

Plans by the Federal government to stop threats from organised labour in the country to embark on a nationwide strike may have suffered a setback as another meeting held between both parties ended inconclusively on Friday.

Labour had issued a strike notice to all its members to commence strike on Tuesday, January 8 following the refusal of President Muhammadu Buhari to submit the N30,000 new minimum wage bill to the National Assembly.

The President had promised that a “high level technical committee “ would be set up, an approach that has not gone down well with the labour unions.

However, on Friday, after the seven-hour meeting held at the Ministry of Labour and Employment headquarters in Abuja, the leadership of the unions said the rescheduled Monday meeting would determine if the strike would hold or not.

Speaking to journslists after the meeting, the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Ayuba Wabba, said, “We have had a social dialogue bothering on the national minimum wage as you are aware and the meeting decided to adjourn and reconvene on Monday for us to do further consultations before the issues are concluded.

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“But we have not been able to conclude and we have agreed to reconvene to tidy the process. The issue at stake is to make sure that the bill is transmitted and also other auxiliary issues that government says they are trying to put together.”

Wabba noted that labour would be patient with the processes of transmitting the bill to the National Assembly.

Those processes which then need to be followed to ensure that a clean bill is transmitted to the National Assembly and what they now termed some physical issues are what we will tidy up on Monday. So, let us wait for that Monday,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Minister for Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige emphasised that the government was committed to meeting the demands of the workers while ensuring the laws were being followed.

”We are still discussing and will continue on Monday. We need to make further consultations before the issues are concluded,” he said.

“So, we are discussing on ways to fast track and we are taking appropriate steps as required by us by law.

“Mr President is more committee to this as he was the one that set of the Tripartite Committee on the minimum wage and even inaugurated them and also put in all the resources. And so he his ready for it and also received the report too,” he said.

Others at the meeting include Minister for Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, and Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed.

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