Chris Steven, Abuja
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has warned Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun against implementing his threat of ‘no work, no pay’ on the striking workers.
The Congress also described the arrest and detention of Labour leaders by the State Governor for fighting for their legitimate rights as undemocratic and condemnable.
Deputy President of NLC, Comrade Kiri Mohammed who also doubles as the National President of Nigeria Civil Service Union (NCSU), said in a statement that the Governor should understand that an agreement freely entered with the workers should not be jettisoned
Kiri who is also chairman of the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council (trade union side) advised the Governor not to implement the principle of ‘no work, no pay’ since the workers’ strike is legitimate.
He further said the workers are on strike due to failure of the Ssate government to pay full salaries including deductions for the past seven months.
The NCSU President lamented the situation in Ogun state which he said was unacceptable, stressing that paying net salaries and leaving gross thereby withholding tax deductions, co -operatives , contributing pensions , check-off dues which are part of the salaries was an aberration.
The statement reads in part: “The attention of the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council has been drawn to the ongoing strike embark upon by the Ogun State Public servants. The Council discovered that the bone of contention that led to the strike, was failure of the State Government to implement the Memorandum of Understanding reached between the leadership of Ogun State Joint Public Service Negotiating Council (Trade union side) on the intervention of the Chiefs and respected elders in the state.
“Council noted that the State Government has persistently failed to remit it’s percentage share of the contributing Pension and the deductions from workers salaries to the Pension Fund Administrators as provided in 2004 Pension Act as amended.
“Council also observed that despite the bailout fund Ogun State received from the Federal Government to offset backlog of arrears of salaries owed to workers, the State Government could only pay June 2015 salaries in full.
“The Council unequivocally condemns the payment of salaries haphazardly and call on the state government to implement the agreement signed with the State Joint Public Service Negotiating Council”.
The statement further said the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari deserves the support of all Nigerians including organised Labour to salvage th country from the current severe economic situation, warning that fanning industrial unrests by some state governments withholding workers salaries would be resisted.
Kiri also said harassment and intimidation of workers while fighting for their rights would no longer be tolerated.