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Labour leader Joe Ajaero has stated that the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) is anticipating negotiations for a national minimum wage that aligns with the current cost of living, All Nigeria Latest News reports.

The NLC president affirmed that the Congress is open to the concept of a living wage, encompassing the cost of living and allowing for savings by the workers.

All Nigeria Latest News reports that Ajaero addressed attendees at the opening of the 2023 Harmattan School in Abuja yesterday, focusing on the theme: “Building Trade Union Skills for Policy Engagement.”

Ajaero, represented by NLC Deputy President Benjamin Anthony, emphasized, “It has become very necessary for governments at all levels to recognize that life and living conditions are exceedingly difficult, especially for working people in both the formal and informal sectors of the economy.

“The removal of subsidy on petroleum products has further exacerbated the challenges faced by working people, unleashing severe pain and contributing to galloping inflation and increasing inequality and poverty.

“We must reckon that a well-motivated and well-remunerated workforce has a positive impact on productivity and national development.

“As we anticipate the commencement of negotiations for the national minimum wage in 2024, we seek the understanding of all stakeholders to ensure that we use this opportunity to arrive at a minimum wage commensurate with the prevailing cost of living.

“The ultimate goal, though, is to establish a living wage that covers the cost of living and make allowance for some savings by the workers.

“Since the adoption of the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) in the mid-1980s and subsequent wholesale adoption of neoliberal economy framework, there has been a sustained disruption of the social pillars of society through the pullback of public spending on the provision of social services.

“These austerity measures have significantly impacted on the quality of life of workers, peasants and the poor, thus creating an urgent need for collaboration with broad segment of the society to form a formidable force for sustained policy engagement with the governments at all levels.”

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