Nigeria: Labour unions suspend strike to hold talks with government


Nigerian labour unions have suspended their nationwide strike to continue talks with the government over a new minimum wage.

The Nigerian government had pleaded with labour unions to rescind their decision and return to work.

“After an extraordinary … meeting today, it was decided that the ongoing strike be suspended for the next one week and we will continue negotiation with the government … on minimum wage,” TUC president, Festus Osifo said.

During talks on Monday, the government agreed to raise the minimum wage to over $40 after the earlier strike disrupted many public services.

This means that the government would offer a higher amount as minimum wage than it currently offers.

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The workers want the current minimum monthly wage of 30,000 naira ($20) to be increased to nearly 500,000 naira ($336). The government offered 60,000 naira ($40) which was rejected by labour.

Leaders of the aggrieved labour unions have argued that the amount is unacceptable considering the high cost of living.

“Failure on the part of government to conclude with labour within one week shall prompt the organised labour to resume the strike without further notice,” Tayo Aboyeji, an NLC secretary said.

Information Minister Mohammed Idris told journalists that government is prepared to establish a realistic minimum wage for Nigerian workers.

“We will continue to engage and make ourselves available for these negotiations on behalf of the Nigerian people,” said Mr Idris.

The minister said the government seeks a balanced and feasible solution, insisting that the proposed minimum wage by the unions was not viable.

Mr Idris urged the labour unions to reconsider their demands, stating that any agreed minimum wage would also impact the private sector and could have detrimental effects on the economy.

Spokesperson of Nigerian Labour Congress(NLC) Benson Upah said unions have been patient with authorities.

“As far as we know, no government has been this lucky,” Upah said. “And for our uncommon understanding and patience with this administration, we have been called names. Yet this government does not want to wake up”he said.


Nigerian unions strike over minimum wage causes major disruptions



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