The meeting between the Nigerian government and the Trade Union Congress is (TUC) to reconvene on Tuesday, June 6.
Speaking to State House Correspondents at the end of the meeting on Sunday evening, a Director in the defunct Tinubu-Shetimma Campaign Organization, Dele Alake said discussions went well and they have made appreciable progress.
He said the TUC presented a list of demands, the top of which was to increase the minimum wage of workers to cushion the effect of the removal of subsidy on petrol.
He said: “We said we were going to reconvene to keep the engagement on to defuse the tension in the land as a result of the withdrawal of subsidy, which is a reality.
”Now we are very happy to announce to Nigerians that this engagement has been very productive and the TUC that attended today’s meeting presented a list of demands, which we have studied and we are going to present to the President for his consideration. But we can announce to Nigerians that a lot of the items on the TUC list are not impracticable.”
Alake said the government’s representatives at the meeting asked the TUC to give them leeway to consult very exhaustively and reconvene on Tuesday to look at the viability of implanting them.
When asked to comment on the absence of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) at the meeting, Alake said the government is also reaching out to them.
Also speaking, the President of the TUC, Festus Osifo, who led the union’s delegation to the meeting, affirmed that demands of the TUC were presented, the top of which was the upward review of the minimum wage in line with current realities.
“We were here on Wednesday last week and after that meeting, the government gave us its position; telling us why they did what they did. So, on our part we did not agree with them so they presented some things they considered as palliatives but we told them we were going back to discuss with our respective organs.
“So, we summoned the National Executive Council (NEC) of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria on Friday and at that meeting, the NEC mandated us with a list of demands to present to the government, which we did today.
“Part of those demands is to increase the minimum wage and they have also told us that they need to present these demands to the President so that we will reconvene on Tuesday. Topmost of our demands is that for utmost good fate and in the interest of social dialogue, they should revert the pump price while discussions continue,” he said.
Osifo said the TUC was hopeful that the demands it presented would be reviewed in the best interest of Nigerian workers.
On why the NLC was not present, he said the NEC of TUC was able to conclude its meeting and set up its list of demands within a short time.