specialty journal of politics and law
The Labor and the Demand for a New Minimum Wage in Nigeria: How Realistic is the Demand?
Eme, Okechukwu Innocent, Ogbochie, Andrew
Recently the Technical Committee, the Federal Government and the Organized Labor constitution reached a consensus on how to attain industrial harmony in the Nigerian industrial relations system by agreeing on the need for a new fifty-six-thousand-naira minimum wage for the workers. In view of the above, the objective of this paper is to explore how realizable the new wage demand can be achieved by the parties. This is the first time in recent years when the government tried to engage the labor movement before fixing a new minimum wage as practiced between 1934 and 2011.Two major theses have emerged to explain the rationale behind the need for an upward review of salaries and the opposing strand. While the former sees it as a constitutional issue, the other thesis views it as an economic driven issue. Through the use of documentary sources such as books, journals, reports and online sources which we used the technique of content analysis, it was discovered that wage reviews were largely not structured to address the basic needs of the workers because they were not engaged and involved before their implementation. The major fallout of their exclusion is the frequent strike actions by workers aimed at getting government to agree to negotiate a new minimum wage and a general upward review of wages. Among the implications of the increase not addressing their basic needs occasioned by Inflation, high cost of living and lack of basic infrastructure. In view of the above findings, the paper recommend that the actors should negotiate since the current minimum wage paid is inadequate compared to the sustainable budgets for all the family income levels as well as the International Labor Organization and the United Nations and the International benchmarks. In view of the new move by the federal government, we conclude that the current new minimum wage demand by workers is realizable with adequate negotiation.