NLC suspends strike, continues national minimum wage negotiation with FG

Labour suspends planned industrial action as it continues talk with Federal Government.

New minimum wage negotiation between the Federal Government and the labour union continues on Wednesday, October 16, 2019. (An illustrative image of NLC President, Ayuba Wabba) [Daily Trust]

Organised labour had on Tuesday, October 15, met with some representatives of the federal government to avert a nationwide strike by workers, slated for Wednesday, October 16, 2019.

The meeting which was said to have lasted for hours, only resulted in labour resolving to suspend the strike, as both parties (federal goverment and labour) agreed to continue their talks today (Wednesday, October 16).

Prior to the meeting, labour was demanding a 29 percent salary increase for officers at salary grade levels 07 to 14 and 24 percent adjustment for officers at salary grade levels 15 to 17, while the federal government proposed an 11 percent increase for officers at grade level 07 to 14  and 6.5 percent increase for workers at grade level 15 to 17.

During the meeting, labour reduced its demands to 20 and 25 percent, while government increased its offer to 17 percent for workers at grade levels 07 to 09, 15 percent for those at grade levels 10 to 14 and 12 percent for workers at grade level 15 to 17, Punch reports.

A source who spoke to Punch and was part of the workers' team, said both sides made concessions, which resulted to labour's demand of documents.

The documents demanded from the federal government, according to the source, is to support its claims during the negotiation on the new minimum wage adjustments.

"In addition to the Federal Government concession, the team also introduced innovations which is strange to us. But we have asked for documents to back that position. However, whatever figures presented now at the meeting are mere proposals that labour is going home to examine critically before tomorrow’s (today) meeting," the source was quoted.

Since the tussle between the labour and the federal government over the minimum wage started, it is on record that the two parties have engaged in often fruitless meetings.

The dialogues so far initiated have led to anxiety and frustrations among the civil servants, and the general public at large.

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