9 December 2012

Nigeria: Labour Vows to Shut Down Plateau State

Jos — Organised Labour yesterday restated its resolve to shut down Plateau State, calling on all workers including private establishments, traders and all service providers in the state to withdraw services by midnight of 10th December, 2012 unless the Plateau State government set aside its pride and pay striking primary school teachers and local government workers their salaries.

Our correspondent gathered that the state government had on Friday obtained a court injunction from the National Industrial Court in Jos, stopping the impending strike action from taking place.

The state labour leaders had yesterday morning met with heads of the state's security team at the Special Task Force (STF) headquarters to discourage the strike action due to what the STF called fear of breach in security.

At the end of the meeting, the STF media and information officer Captain Salisu Mustapha told reporters that "the Special Task Force is aware of the ill motive of some supporters and sympathizers who intend to come all the way from neighbouring states. Reliable intelligence indicates that some miscreants plan to take advantage of the supposed peaceful action to cause chaos to the detriment of the relative peace in the state."

Captain Mustapha called on organised labour to abide by the court injunction in order to avoid any breach of security.

However, the Plateau State chairman of NLC Jibrin Banchir told press men in Jos that the strike would go on as planned because labour was not served with the injunction and that the strike was a directive of the NLC national headquarters.

"We are in touch with the NLC headquarters and they have not been served any court order. Secondly, the action that is being planned for Monday is not organised by the state council, it is as a result of communication between the state government and the NLC headquarters, therefore the state government must meet with the NLC headquarters to resolve this," Banchir said.

While describing labour as a disciplined and law abiding organisation, the state NLC chairman revealed that "we are aware that government is mobilising political thugs to work against the interest of the workers. Should that be the case, we are drawing the attention of the security operatives to that issue so that, that breach of peace should not come from the government and it is being blamed on labour because workers are just demanding for their rights.

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