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Labour unimpressed by Tinubu minimum wage increase as strike action looms

The NLC President urged the government to reconsider the retirement age for federal and state civil service employees, suggesting an increase from 60 to 65 years and extending the years in service from 35 to 40.

NLC, Bola Ahmed Tinubu. [Facebook]

Joe Ajaero, the president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), and Festus Osifo, representing the Trade Union Congress (TUC), stood united and firm in their demand.

They made this powerful call during the Workers’ Day celebration at Eagle Square, Abuja, on Wednesday, May 1, demonstrating the strength and unity of the labour unions in Nigeria.

They urged the government to expedite the implementation of the new national minimum wage by the end of May, cautioning that a failure to do so would result in a confrontation.

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The NLC criticised the 25 and 35% salary increases for various public servants, deeming them ineffective. Comrade Ajaero stated in a speech that efforts to establish a new national minimum wage are ongoing.

As quoted by Daily Trust, he said, “All parties in the tripartite process are well represented and the engagement has been robust. We have placed our demand of 615,000 only before our social partners while we await their offer.

“If, however, the negotiation of the minimum wage is not concluded by the end of May, the trade union movement in Nigeria will no longer guarantee industrial peace in the country.”

He stated that the labour sector insisted on a provision within the new Act for a two-year duration and a provision for automatic wage adjustments whenever inflation surpassed 7.5%.

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He emphasised that Nigerian workers should be entitled to a national minimum wage that reflects a standard of living wage.

Ajaero also reiterated that the efforts to establish a fresh national minimum wage were still in progress and had involved extensive discussions.

He encouraged workers to stay attentive as the talks were approaching a resolution.

“We must not let our guards down but be alert so that together, we can assist the government in making the right decision and pay workers a living wage as promised by Mr President.

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“We will not allow our interest to sabotage the desire of the president concerning a living wage for workers,” he said.

The NLC President urged the government to reconsider the retirement age for federal and state civil service employees, suggesting an increase from 60 to 65 years and extending the years in service from 35 to 40, mirroring the adjustments made for teachers and judges.

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