Jos — Striking local government workers in Plateau State said yesterday that the state governor, Jonah David Jang, has no right to apply the no-work-no-pay rule on them, saying it is not an established policy but a convention with no force of law.
The workers who spoke through their union leaders at a news conference in Jos said although they agreed during the labour-government negotiations to accept interim payment of 55 per cent of the new national minimum wage, they would no longer take anything less than the full minimum wage of N18000, unless the governor reverses his no-work-no-pay option.
Local government workers of the state embarked on strike in April to press for full minimum wage as against the half, N9000, that they were being paid by government. And the half minimum wage was stopped in June by Governor Jang, when he enforced the no-work-no-pay option.
Chairman of the Plateau State chapter of Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Gunshin Yarlings, who spoke for teachers and other striking local government workers under National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) said, "It was unanimously resolved that the unions agreed on the five per cent increase, making the new 55 per cent interim as give and take which is a common feature in collective bargaining for payment of salaries from June 2012 to date. However, since the position of the state governor is to jettison the collective resolution of the parties that were negotiating, the unions too have rejected the 55 per cent, and now demand 100 per cent".
Our correspondent reports that the unions accepted to be paid 55 per cent of the minimum wage, but refused to call off the strike because Governor Jang rejected their request for payment of withheld salaries. Jang, receiving on Wednesday the report of a committee that looked into the government-labour face-off, insisted that the withheld salaries will not be paid.