…calls for end to strike
Chris Steven, Abuja
The leadership of Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has written to Governors Olusegun Mimiko and Ayodele Fayose to end the ongoing strike embarked upon by civil servants in their respective states over unpaid salaries by paying the striking workers.
The Labour umbrella body in separate letters addressed to the two Governors signed by its President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba urged them to find means of boosting their states’ internally generated revenue and commence process of payment of salaries.
NLC argued that the current economic challenges in the country are not reasons why workers should not be paid their salaries noting that failure to pay workers their salaries amount to crime against humanity.
In the letters titled ” Request for Intervention”, the Congress said it was prepared to sit with them and it’s members to broker the necessary peace in the interest of industrial harmony and general well-being of their states.
It also urged them to cut their expenditure particularly in the areas of political appointments, patronage and allied costs.
In the letter written to Governor Fayose of Ekiti state, NLC said that issues that led to the ongoing strike action in the state are well known and enumerated them to include non-payment of five months salary arrears and pensions,non-implementation of promotion report since 2014; staff verification exercise in 2015; and refusal of government disclose the actual monthly Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
The Labour body told Governor Fayose that
the prevailing soci-economic challenges in the polity should not constitute an acceptable rationale for owing workers and pensioners for so long.
“A Labourer, the Holy Books, tell us, deserves his wages. Stripped of his wages, he is reduced to a slave without rights or privileges.
In the instant case, the workers and pensioners in the State have been pulverised into submission due to the default in the payment of their salaries and pensions to the extent that they are unable to perform their obligations to God, Man and the State.
We believe this painful situation could be minimised, if not entirely reduced, if government gives consideration to managing the cost of governance, raising the IGR profile and appropriately applying the bail-out funds given by the Federal Government.
Your Excellency, we urge you to bring this strike action speedily to an end by commencing the process of payment and establishing a platform for dialogue at which the leadership of the workers at the state level could be availed of what accrues to the coffers of the state monthly.
We are prepared to sit with you and our members to broker the necessary peace in the interest of industrial harmony and general well-being of the state.” NLC said in the letter
While writing to Governor Mimiko, NLC soughtto request his urgent re-consideration and intervention in the matter of non-payment of salaries and pensions which has led to a strike action in the state.
It also argued that the present socio-economic challenges are not enough reasons for not paying five months salaries and pensions and four months salaries and pensions at the local government level and for teachers.
The Congress stressed that non-payment of salaries and pensions for months e constitutes a crime against the workers, pensioners and their families whose lives and obligation to Man and God and their sense of self-worth have been put in jeopardy.
“Your Excellency, we are not unaware of the present socio-economic challenges in the country. However, in our estimation, this should not be an acceptable reason for not paying five months salaries and pensions at the level of the state, and four months salaries and pensions at the level of local government and teachers.
Sir, you do not need a lecture from anyone, to know that non-payment of salaries and pensions for months on end, constitutes a crime against the workers, pensioners and their families whose lives and obligation to Man and God and their sense of self-worth have been put in jeopardy.
As one with activist background and one with whom we have had collaboration these issues are clear and self-evident, and therefore need no belabouring.
Accordingly, we will not relent in urging you to put in motion the necessary logistics for the commencement of the payment of these salaries and pensions.” It said