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Microsoft Gaming to Slash 1,900 Jobs Amid Acquisition Fallout

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Microsoft Gaming announced plans to cut 1,900 jobs, accounting for approximately 9% of its workforce.

The decision outlined in a Thursday memo comes just over three months after the completion of the high-profile acquisition.

Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer cited the need for an “execution plan” aimed at reducing redundancies and streamlining operations within the company.

The move underscores the challenges of integrating two major gaming entities and aligning strategies following the $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, which closed in late 2023.

Former Blizzard president, Mike Ybarra, also disclosed his departure from Microsoft and Blizzard on social media, further highlighting the changes within the organization.

Spencer emphasized that the affected employees, who played integral roles in the success of Activision Blizzard, ZeniMax, and the Xbox teams, would be provided with full support, including severance benefits in accordance with local employment laws.

The decision reflects a commitment to navigating the restructuring process with thoughtfulness and compassion.

The layoffs at Microsoft Gaming contribute to a broader trend of job cuts across the tech industry, with several companies making deep cuts in their workforce in the early months of 2024.

Economic pressures and efforts to streamline operations have been cited as driving factors behind these decisions.

Despite the anticipated efficiencies following the merger, layoffs are often expected outcomes, and Microsoft’s share prices remained largely unchanged following the announcement.

The company’s focus now lies in aligning its strategy, optimizing its cost structure, and continuing to invest in growth opportunities amidst the evolving landscape of the gaming industry.

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Minimum Wage Negotiations to Restart, Government Considers Revision

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After a dramatic walkout by labour leaders following the Federal Government’s proposal of N48,000 as the new national minimum wage, negotiations are set to resume with indications that the government might reconsider its stance.

The Chairman of the Tripartite Committee on National Minimum Wage, Alhaji Bukar Goni, conveyed this possibility in a letter inviting labour leaders back to the negotiation table.

The letter, dated May 16, 2024, highlighted the government’s willingness to shift its position on the proposed minimum wage.

The walkout occurred 24 hours after the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) leaders left the negotiation committee in protest against the government’s offer.

The organised private sector had initially proposed an offer of N54,000, which also spurred contention during the talks.

In response to the government’s proposal, the National President of the NLC, Joe Ajaero, vehemently rejected the offer, insisting on a minimum wage of N615,000.

Ajaero argued that this figure was arrived at after a thorough analysis of the current economic situation and the needs of an average Nigerian family of six.

Blaming both the government and the organised private sector for the breakdown in negotiations, Ajaero expressed disappointment in what he deemed as an inadequate proposal.

He highlighted the disparity between the proposed minimum wage and prevailing standards, asserting that the suggested amount would undermine the economic well-being of workers and their families.

The Director-General of the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA), Mr Adewale-Smatt Oyerinde, criticized the unions’ decision to walk out, labeling it as unfortunate.

He urged union leaders to reconsider their position and return to the negotiation table in the interest of their members and national development.

In response to the criticism, Ajaero defended the unions’ actions, emphasizing that the proposed N48,000 as the minimum wage insulted the sensibilities of Nigerian workers.

He accused the government of failing to provide substantiated data to support its offer, further undermining the credibility of the negotiation process.

Amidst the ongoing dispute, Goni’s letter invited labour leaders to resume negotiations, assuring them of the government’s willingness to reconsider its proposal. The letter underscored the importance of all parties coming together to analyze the tripartite position and make necessary concessions.

The resumption of negotiations holds significance for Nigerian workers, as the current minimum wage of N30,000 is set to expire soon.

The tripartite committee, comprising representatives from the government, private sector, and labour unions, aims to recommend a new national minimum wage that reflects prevailing economic realities and meets the needs of workers across the country.

As labour leaders prepare to return to the negotiation table, hopes are high for a resolution that addresses the concerns of workers while fostering national development and economic prosperity.

The outcome of the resumed negotiations will have far-reaching implications for millions of Nigerian workers and their families.

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Federal Government Tripartite Committee to Discuss Minimum Wage Reports Today

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The Federal Government’s tripartite committee on minimum wage is set to convene today in Abuja to discuss the new national minimum wage.

The committee, comprising 37 members, will gather to deliberate on the final reports submitted by various subcommittees tasked with assessing and recommending adjustments to the minimum wage structure.

Among the key agenda items for the meeting, which will be held at the Nicon Luxury Hotel in Abuja, are the consideration of reports on the proposed new minimum wage and the establishment of a subcommittee responsible for drafting the final report to be presented to the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

The committee will address issues related to sanctions for wage violations and procedures for reporting such violations. Reports on the survey of the informal sector of the economy conducted in 2023 as well as those from the National Salaries, Income, and Wages Commission (NSIWC), will also be reviewed.

The timing of this meeting holds significance as it comes on the heels of Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha’s announcement during the recent Workers’ Day celebration.

She stated that once approved, the new minimum wage would take effect from May 1, 2024, underscoring the urgency of reaching a consensus.

Amidst these discussions, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has put forward a bold recommendation for a new minimum wage of N615,000.

This figure, according to the NLC, reflects the meticulous calculation of the monthly cost of living for Nigerian workers, factoring in expenses such as food and transportation.

The NLC’s proposal underscores the pressing need to address the economic challenges faced by workers amidst rising production costs, dwindling purchasing power, and elevated exchange rates.

The union’s research, conducted across all states of the federation, aimed to capture the true cost of meeting the primary needs of an average family in Nigeria.

However, the proposed wage increase faces scrutiny, particularly regarding its feasibility and potential economic implications.

Critics question whether such a substantial hike is sustainable and whether it adequately accounts for broader economic factors such as inflation and fiscal constraints.

As the tripartite committee convenes today, stakeholders will engage in robust discussions aimed at striking a balance between the aspirations of workers for improved wages and the imperative of maintaining economic stability.

The outcome of these deliberations will not only shape the livelihoods of millions of Nigerian workers but also influence the trajectory of the nation’s economy in the months and years to come.

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Federal Government Approves 25-35% Pay Rise for Civil Servants on Eve of May Day

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The federal government has sanctioned a significant pay increase ranging between 25 and 35 percent, effective from January 1, 2024.

The announcement, made on the eve of May Day, also known as Labour Day, showed government acknowledgment of the contributions and welfare of the nation’s workforce.

The decision comes amidst the culmination of the deliberations of the 37-member tripartite committee on national minimum wage, led by former Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Bukar Goni Aji.

Launched in January, the committee’s report is set to be submitted shortly, addressing critical concerns regarding wage structures and standards.

According to Emmanuel Njoku, Head of Press at the National Salaries, Incomes, and Wages Commission (NSIWC), the pay increments extend across various consolidated salary structures, encompassing entities such as the Consolidated Public Service Salary Structure (CONPSS), Consolidated Research and Allied Institutions Salary Structure (CONRAISS), and others.

The federal government has also approved commensurate pension increases, ranging from 20 to 28 percent, for pensioners enrolled in the Defined Benefits Scheme within these structures.

While the news of the wage hike has been met with anticipation and optimism by some, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has expressed skepticism, dismissing the move as inconsequential.

Chris Onyeka, Assistant General Secretary of the NLC, rebuffed the announcement, stating that the commission lacks the authority to dictate national minimum wage rates.

Onyeka emphasized the need for substantive actions that truly address the concerns of civil servants and the working class.

Despite the NLC’s reservations, the wage increase marks a significant development for government workers grappling with the economic challenges exacerbated by inflation and rising living costs.

The approval signifies the government’s recognition of the imperative to provide adequate remuneration to sustain the livelihoods of its workforce.

In response to inquiries regarding the timing of the announcement, Njoku clarified that there is no wrong time to implement policies beneficial to workers.

He assured that the government would promptly disburse the arrears owed to employees from January onwards.

However, behind the scenes, speculation persists regarding the motives driving the government’s swift action.

Sources within senior government circles hinted that the announcement was preemptive, aimed at forestalling potential unrest during the May Day celebrations.

Concerns over the prospect of organized labor protests prompted government officials to expedite the wage increase, averting potential clashes or disruptions.

In light of these developments, the onus lies on the government to engage constructively with stakeholders to address the broader issues confronting the workforce.

As civil servants welcome the prospect of improved remuneration, the nation awaits further initiatives to enhance the welfare and prosperity of its labor force, underscoring the significance of sustained dialogue and collaboration between the government and labor unions.

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