This Day (Lagos)

Nigeria: Plateau Tertiary Institutions Workers Threaten Fresh Strike

The Joint Union of Plateau State-owned tertiary institutions workers has demanded for the payment of the salaries arrears owed them by the state government, threatening to resume the strike which the union had suspended last year should the government fails to .pay the outstanding salaries.

Addressing the press at the Jos campus of the State Polytechnic, the union's chairman, Mr. Victor Dawurung, said the union did not at any time accept the 'no work, no pay' order imposed on it by the state government.

Dawurung said "we want to make it categorically clear that have not accepted the imposition of 'no work, no pay', we have only been pursuing the matter diplomatically, but unfortunately, we have become a reference point of the imposition of the draconian rule."

Recall that the union had embarked on strike last year during which the workers were not paid. But the Plateau elders had appealed to them to tow the line of peace and pursue their payment through diplomacy.

But recently, the Governor of the state, Jonah Jang, used them as reference point for 'no work, no pay rule', asking the striking Local Government workers to go and learn their lessons from the tertiary institutions workers, who were not paid during their period of strike, and vowing that he would not pay the council workers also.

This development angered the tertiary institution workers, who had listened to the elders plea to pursue the matter through diplomacy, making them to now demand for the payment of their outstanding salaries from the State Government, describing the governor's choice of reference as unfortunate.

Dawurung said "what has become very worrisome to us is that despite the agreement reached with government on the 15th June and 17th October , 2011 that no worker would be victimised for participating in the strike, we are today being outrightly denied our three months salaries under the guise of no work no pay.

We have written three different letters appealing to government to pay us our three months outstanding salaries but to no avail. "

The union also noted that the State government has not paid its members salaries for some months now, "but we have not stopped working, all in the pursuit of peace. Yet this is the same government that assured us that salaries would always be paid on the 25th of every month; the delay is embarrassing and causing untold hardship on our members".

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