Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) would today meet with the representatives of the Joint National Public ServicNLC, TUC, JNPSNCe Negotiating Council (JNPSNC) to decide on the next line of action in their bid to get the federal government to implement the N30,000 new minimum wage for workers on Grade Level 7 and above.
TUC President, Quadri Olaleye, who confirmed the meeting in a telephone conversation with THISDAY yesterday, said the leadership of NLC and TUC would use the opportunity to look into the report of the stalled negotiation of the minimum wage consequential adjustment committee.
“We will be meeting tomorrow (today) with the leaders of the public sector workers to try and consider the report on negotiation for minimum wage consequential adjustment,” he said.
NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, had said during a courtesy visit to the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, that both parent unions would consult with the negotiating team of JNPSNC last Friday to assist in brokering a truce between the unions and the government.
However, Olaleye said the consultative meeting could not hold as planned but has now been rescheduled for today (Wednesday) at the Labour House in Abuja.
Negotiations on the implementation of the new minimum wage had ended in a deadlock following the failure of the government team and the leadership of the JNPSNC to agree on the percentage of adjustment that would apply in the computation of the new minimum wage for grade levels 07 to 17.
While the federal government has shifted ground from its earlier position of 9.5 per cent to 11 per cent for grade levels 07 to 14 and 6.5 per cent from 5.5 per cent for levels 15 to 17, representatives of labour insisted that government should adjust the salaries of workers on grade levels 07 to 14 by 30 per cent and those on levels 15 to 17 by 25 per cent, having stepped down to 29 per cent from 30 per cent for grade levels 07 to 14 and 24 to 25 per cent for levels 15 to 17.
The minister had explained the delay in reaching a deal with the unions, saying the present economic situation has made it difficult for the federal government to accept the demand put up by labour.
Ngige added that the government negotiating team would be reconstituted to accommodate new ministers and reappointed ones.