Minimum Wage: FG/Labour meeting deadlock


The meeting between the Federal Government and organised labour over the full implementation of the new national minimum wage yesterday was deadlocked.

The two sides could not come to terms on what should be the percentage increase to be added on to the other cadre in relation to the consequential adjustment.

The meeting which commenced at 5 p.m on Wednesday dragged to 2a.m this morning before the two sides decided to adjourn till later this evening.

Speaking in a telephone interview to after the meeting, Mr. Lawrence Amaechi, the President of the Nigeria Civil Service Union (NCSU), who is also a member of the National Joint Negotiation Council (NJIC) said the members of the committee have been divided into groups for specific assignment.

“We have some assignment to handle and we are to come back by 7 p.m today to submit our findings and continue the discussion. But right now the meeting is deadlocked”, he said.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige equally explained that the contentious issues presently is about figure and wage adjustment.

The meeting which opened few minutes after 5P.m yesterday, first broke into a session after one hour forty minutes for consultation on the new offer.

It was gathered that Government came up with a new template creating three formula.

According to the source, government offered to pay level 07 – 14, 17 percent,   and 15 -17, 12 percent. Whereas Organised Labour said that it will only  accept 20 percent for level 7- 14 and 15 percent for level 15 to 17.

Before now Government has offered level 7-14, 11 percent and 15 -17, 6.5 percent, while labour wanted 29 percent for 7 – 14 and 24 percent for 15 -17.

One of the members yesterday has told that labour would not accept anything short of the 20 and 15 percent for the two cadres under discussion, adding that labour has conceded a lot coming from 66 percent which was the actual percentage on the N30,000 Minimum Wage from the former N18,000.

Before the meeting was finally adjourned, it called for recess for about three times and broke into several  groups for more than three times.

At a stage some members of the government sides were seen making frantic calls suspected to be to Aso Rock around the midnight before reconvening for another session.

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