22 December 2012

Nigeria: We Lost Over 200 Plateau Workers, Labour Laments

Jos — The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has described the seven-month old workers' strike in Plateau State, which ended yesterday as all round loss, lamenting that it lost over 200 workers in the course of the struggle.

Addressing the press on the resolution that led to the calling off of the strike, the state Chairman of the NLC, Comrade Jibrin Bancir, who added that leaders were just returning from the burial of one of the union's members, said the deceased died in an accident in the course of the struggle.

He said others died out of frustrations and inaccessibility to health care due to the strike. He also added that "no enrolment into primary 1 and JSS 1 this year, meaning that pupils in public schools in Plateau State lag behind other states by one year.

"Today after seven months of strike we are settling back to what we all refused to dialogue on; it was all round loss", he regretted.

On the truce, which was achieved in Abuja after exhaustive deliberations by both members of the organised labour and the representatives of the government of the state, and mediated by the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu, the NLC Chairman said the communiqué of the resolution stated that:

"The Plateau State Government should pay the salaries of workers with 55 per cent implementation of the Minimum Wage from June 2012; a. The salaries of October, November and December 2012 shall be paid as agreed immediately; b. The payment of June to September 2012 salaries will be addressed by the Governor of Plateau State, the Minister of Labour and Productivity, and the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) within one month from the date of this communiqué.

"Labour to partner the government of Plateau State to carry out screening through biometric to ascertain the actual staff strength of the local government areas within two months and the government of Plateau State in collaboration with the local government councils to intensify internally generated revenue.

"There shall be no victimisation of workers and their unions who participated in the industrial action in the state during the period. The organised labour hereby suspends the current industrial action in the state."

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