14 September 2017

Nigeria: Kogi Workers to Embark On Indefinite Strike Over Unpaid Salaries

Lokoja — Organised labour in Kogi State Wednesday called on workers in the state to embark on indefinite strike starting from September 22, when a seven-day strike notice to the state government would lapse.

The organised labour threatened to resume their suspended strike over failure of the government to honour the agreement reached with them.

This was contained in a statement issued wednesday by the state Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and his Trade Union Congress (TUC) counterpart, Ranti Ojo.

According to the union, the strike would commence because of government failure to pay salaries and other entitlements of the workers. The unions noted that the strike notice was sequel to the expiration of the time given to the state government to pay the July 2017 salary and to reverse some of the newly introduced rules that were not in tandem with the civil service rules.

The workers demanded among other things, "that government should as a matter of urgency, rescind its decision on clocking in and out policy in the public service of the state, which aims at casualising the service on daily pay basis.

This negates the provisions of National Councils on Establishment's principles and practices guiding the civil service in the country.

"In addition, workers of the state are not miners or workers of close-shop companies like Dangote or Nasco Groups of Companies, whose workers clock in and out. We find it extremely difficult to comprehend the issue because government that could not fulfill its obligations to workers is out on a witch-hunting mission on monitoring and compelling workers with a draconian policy of clock in and out.

"That government should as a matter of urgency, rescind its punitive policy of contributory pension scheme, as it will be difficult for government to pay its counterpart funding because salaries are not being paid regularly."

The unions also wanted government to implement the collective agreement entered into with them on August 1, 2016, without any further delay, adding that government should pay the arrears of salaries to all pardoned workers in the state and local government, primary school teachers and local government education authority staff from January 2016 to August 2017.

The unions added: "That your excellency should as a matter of concern, make your words, your bond by ensuring that the clemency granted to various categories of workers comes to limelight, because we find it difficult to actually clarify the dictates of your words as we observed that someone somewhere is tinkering with your directive or rather moderating your directive. Therefore, labour demands the immediate pay-rolling and payment of salaries and the arrears of the affected workers."

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