‘We Won’t Negotiate Starvation Wage’ — Labour Discloses As Seven-Day Strike Suspension Elapses Tomorrow

The Organised Labour has insisted that it will reject any proposal of ₦62,000 or ₦100,000 as a “starvation” wage Nigerian workers.

Labour’s latest demand of ₦250,000 as the living wage for the average Nigerian worker was reiterated during the last meeting of the Tripartite Committee on Minimum Wage.

An Assistant General Secretary of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Chris Onyeka, reiterated the organization’s stance, stating, “Our position is very clear,” during an appearance on Channels Television’s The Morning Brief show on Monday.

Onyeka stated that the one-week grace period extended to the Federal Government last Tuesday, June 4, 2024, would lapse by midnight on Tuesday, June 11, 2024.

According to him, if the Federal Government and National Assembly fail to address the workers’ demands by tomorrow (Tuesday), the NLC and TUC organs will convene to determine the resumption of the nationwide industrial action that was suspended last week.

“We have never considered accepting ₦62,000 or any other wage that we know is below what we know is able to take Nigerian workers home. We will not negotiate a starvation wage.

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“We have never contemplated ₦100,000 let alone of ₦62,000. We are still at ₦250,000, that is where we are, and that is what we considered enough concession to the government and the other social partners in this particular situation. We are not just driven by frivolities but the realities of the market place; realities of things we buy every day: bag of rice, yam, garri, and all of that.

“The Federal Government and the National Assembly have the call now. It is not our call. Our demand is there for them (the government) to look at and send an Executive Bill to the National Assembly, and for the National Assembly to look at what we have demanded, the various fact of the law, and then come up with a National Minimum Act that meets our demands.

“If that does not meet our demand, we have given the Federal Government a one-week notice to look at the issues and that one week expires tomorrow (Tuesday). If after tomorrow, we have not seen any tangible response from the government, the organs of the Organised Labour will meet to decide on what next,” Onyeka said.

Asked what the decision of Labour would be should the government insists on ₦62,000, Onyeka said, “It was clear what we said. We said we are relaxing a nationwide indefinite strike. It’s like putting a pause on it.

“So, if you put a pause on something and that organs that govern us as trade unions decide that we should remove that pause, it means that we go back to what was in existence before.”