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Minimum Wage: FG, Labour in closed-door meeting

By Johnbosco Agbakwuru – Abuja

The Federal Government and the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council (Trade Union side) are currently meeting at the Ministry of Labour and Employment to resolve the controversy over the consequential adjustment on the new national minimum wage.

Minimum Wage: FG, Labour in closed-door meeting

The meeting which the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige had yesterday said would likely stay long in a bid to address all the contentious issues, has been described as to make or mar as its outcome would likely determine the worker’s unions next line of action over the threat to go on strike.

Recall that the organized labour had last week issued a threat to embark on a nationwide industrial action should the government fail to show commitment to the full implementation of the new minimum wage on or before October 16.

In his opening remarks, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Ngige who is conciliatory said the discussion centers on fixing the minimum wage.

According to him, ”Collective adjustment is like collective bargaining but has its own limitation. Let’s look at the issue and we will resolve.”

On his side, the General Secretary of Trade Union Congress, TUC, Comrade Musa Lawal-Ozigi said it is not right for a government to exist and the workers will be suffering.

He said, ”To avoid crisis, it is important to make the workers happy.”

In his own remarks before the meeting entered into the technical sessions, the acting Head of Service, Dr. Folashade Yemi-Esan said both the government and labour unions want improved welfare for the workers.

She said ”There is no different side here, the president is worried about the welfare workers too so we will have a fruitful deliberation. ”

Some of the contentious issues include the alleged delay in the full implementation of the minimum wage as a result of the disagreement between labour and government on Consequential movement especially for workers on Grade Level 7-17

Labour is demanding 29 per cent salary increase for officers on salary level 07 to 14 and 24 per cent adjustment for officers on salary grade level 15 to 17.

But the federal government had presented a proposal of 11 per cent salary increase for officers on grade level 07 to14 and 6.5 per cent adjustment for workers of grade level 15 to 17.

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