Labor Unleashes Fury on Governors Over Rejection of N60,000 Minimum Wage Proposal - Watchtower media

Labor Unleashes Fury on Governors Over Rejection of N60,000 Minimum Wage Proposal

The organized labor sector, which includes the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), strongly criticized the 36 governors on Saturday for stating that they could not afford to implement a minimum wage of N60,000.

Both labor leaders denounced the governors' stance and actions toward Nigerian workers as cruel, urging them to reconsider before a potentially explosive situation arises.

The governors, represented by the Director of Media and Public Affairs of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), Hajiya Halimah Salihu Ahmed, announced on Friday that they could not sustain the proposed N60,000 minimum wage set by the federal government.

Responding to the governors' decision, the organized labor, communicated through the Head of Information and Public Affairs at the NLC headquarters, Benson Upah, expressed surprise at the governors' oversight of the significant rise in fuel prices and the weakening Naira against the Dollar.

"We are deeply concerned by the Nigeria Governors Forum's statement claiming that states cannot afford to pay N60,000 as a minimum wage, with some needing to borrow each month to pay workers," Upah said in a statement. 

The labor organizations stated that statements like these showed a lack of good faith, particularly in the midst of ongoing negotiations. They emphasized that the governors' claims contradicted the reality of increased FAAC allocations from N700 billion to N1.2 trillion, highlighting that the governments have become wealthy at the expense of the people.

The labor groups emphasized that reducing the high cost of governance, curbing corruption, and prioritizing worker welfare were essential steps for state governments to afford a reasonable national minimum wage. They clarified that the national minimum wage is a basic standard beneath which no employer should pay their workers to protect the vulnerable and impoverished.

In light of economic changes such as the fuel subsidy removal, Naira devaluation, energy tariff hikes, and interest rate spikes, the labor factions stressed the alarming impact on the purchasing power of the minimum wage, calling for urgent government action to address the deteriorating economic conditions for the most vulnerable groups.

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