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MAN Chief to Labour: Strike can cripple economy, doubtful if OPS can pay even N60,000 Minimum Wage

*Segun Ajayi-Kadir, Director-General of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria appeals to the Labour Unions to reconsider their decision on the proposed industrial action over the tripartite committee’s inability to agree on a new National Minimum Wage

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

As the Labour Unions threaten to embark on a nationwide strike, beginning from Monday, June 3, 2024, Mr. Segun Ajayi-Kadir, Director-General of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), has appealed to the Labour to reconsider its decision on the proposed industrial action over the tripartite committee’s inability to yet agree on a new National Minimum Wage.

ConsumerConnect reports Ajayi-Kadir, who has been on the part of the Organised Private Sector (OPS) in the multilateral committee on the Minimum Wage negotiation, made the appeal while featuring in a Channels TV programme Saturday, June 1, monitored in Lagos.

Mr. Segun Ajayi-Kadir, Director-General of MAN         Photo: GazetteNGR

He asserted that it is unfortunate that the Labour Unions rejected the N60,000 offer from the Federal Government and the OPS, but have chosen to declare a nationwide strike next Monday.

Festus Osifo, President of Trade Union Congress (TUC), along with the leadership of the NLC at a media briefing Friday, May 31, in Abuja, FCT, had announced the industrial action.

Earlier, the Organised Labour, had pulled out of the continued negotiation, and subsequently, rejected two Federal Government offers, and the latest amount being N60,000.

The Labour leaders are yet insisting on N497,000 as the National Minimum Wage for a worker in the West African country.

Strike won’t help matters in economy, says Ajayi-Kadir

However, in terms of the damaging consequences of the planned strike on the macroeconomy, Ajayi-Kadir, Director-General of MAN warned if the Labour’s decision is allowed to go on Monday, the situation would be a huge blow on the private sector, especially manufacturers already grappling with inadequacy in the macroeconomic environment in Nigeria.

The MAN Chief also noted he does not believe that the Labour walking out of discussions and declaring strike would help matters in the economy.

He declared: “We cannot afford to cripple the economy, when all we needed to do is continue to build it.

“I think President Tinubu was very clear when he emerged as President that these are not going to be easy times.

“And I think we needed to tighten our belts to deliver on economy that we know has been seriously battered.”

Ajayi-Kadir, nonetheless, said “of course, government on its own side, has to demonstrate leadership, sensitivity, and sense of and sense of mind as well as sense of occasion of the period that we are in.

“So, government expenditure, government choices of what needed to be done, how much to be spent, the cost of governance itself, all of it has to come to the table.

“I think what Labour is actually worried about is that they appear to be the ones on the brunt of it; but we needed to be able to engage, walking out on the process and declaring strike, I do not think that that is what is going to solve this issue.”

As regards the far-reaching of a national strike as of now, he explained: “What we are saying is a situation that if we are not able to produce even with all the challenges we have, it is going to have a ripple effect, not only on our production process but on Labour itself.

“If we down tools and we are unable to produce, it is doubtful if we will be able to pay even the offer that the private sector and the government have agreed.”

What the Organised Labour needs to do, going forward

Ajayi-Kadir said that what the Labour Unions needed to do is to ensure that the discussions continue until a mutually acceptable agreement is reached.

The Director-General of MAN emphasised that he does not believe that the government does not care.

However, the government must demonstrate the care and ensure that everyone involved remain at the negotiation table to be able to have an agreement that works for everybody.

 

 

 

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