In an interview, Comrade Joe Ajaero, the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), addressed the suspension of a proposed indefinite strike by Organized Labour over the removal of petrol subsidy and disagreements regarding palliatives. Ajaero clarified that they reached an agreement with the Federal Government after negotiations, achieving about 90% of their demands, which led to the suspension of the strike.
He explained the demands they made, including the call for an alternative to petrol, refinery rehabilitation, wage increases, and more. Ajaero emphasized that negotiations aim to secure enforceable and implementable agreements.
Ajaero dismissed accusations of selling out, emphasizing that critics lack understanding of labor issues and the negotiation process.
Regarding the new minimum wage, Ajaero noted that negotiations for a new wage were still in progress, with a deadline in April 2024. He mentioned that economic factors, inflation, cost of living, and practical considerations would be essential in determining the new wage, suggesting a minimum of $200 for the least-paid worker.
Ajaero also touched on pensioners’ inclusion in cash transfer programs and emphasized the importance of maintaining workers’ purchasing power to support economic growth. He criticized economists who oppose wage increases, asserting that a fair wage is essential for workers’ well-being and the economy’s health.