The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has fixed April 10 for a nationwide protest to demonstrate their displeasure with the levity with which the federal government is treating the plight of pensioners who are owed a backlog of arrears.
During the protest, labour would mobilise people to march to the State House and state government houses in the 36 states of the federation to lay their complaints to President Goodluck Jonathan and the governors respectively.
To ensure the success of the planned protest, the NLC Central Working Committee (CWC) rose from a meeting in Abuja Thursday with a directive to all affiliate unions, state councils, friends and allies of the organised labour to immediately commence the mobilisation of workers for the action.
The CWC decried the growing level of corruption in the country and the crisis in the pension scheme, stressing that all efforts to get the attention of government, including two letters to the presidency for intervention over hardships faced by retirees were fruitless.
In a communiqué jointly signed by NLC President, Abdulwaheed Omar and Acting General Secretary, Chris Uyot, the congress expressed concern that despite the unprecedented scam in the pension regime and the raging war of words between the executive and the National Assembly, pensioners remained the main victims with a large number of them not being paid their entitlements.
The congress said it had exploited all the lawful channels of communication to the government hence its determination to ensure justice for its members who are owed billions of pension arrears.
The communiqué reads: "The congress had written at least two letters to the presidency calling for its intervention in the pension crisis, coupled with the correspondences, the leadership of congress had reached out through other channels to the federal government; the congress leadership had also made public pronouncements on the avoidable but painful pension crisis. The CWC noted with dismay that the presidency neither acknowledged the letters nor responded to the issues the leadership of the congress publicly raised on the plight of pensioners.
"Convinced that the congress had exploited all the lawful channels of communication to the government to no avail, concerned that despite the unprecedented scam in the pension regime and the raging war of words between the executive and the National Assembly, pensioners remain the main victims with a teeming number of them not being paid, congress is certain that nobody wants to listen to the plight of pensioners.
"Worried that the continued silence of the government means more hardship for its members in the fold of the National Union of Pensioners (NUP) and determined to ensure justice for its members who are owed billions of pension arrears, the CWC resolved that on April 10, all NLC affiliate unions and state councils across the length and breadth of the country will mobilise workers on a protest march to the presidency and state government houses."