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Labour gives Benue ultimatum over salary arrears

Ortom. Photo; thesheet

Ortom. Photo; thesheet

OWING to the continued delay in paying civil servants their outstanding salary arrears by the Benue State Government even after it had allegedly accessed the N28 billion bailout funds, the state organized labour on Wednesday gave the government an ultimatum to pay their salary arrears by today, October 30 or face industrial disharmony.

The joint organized labour unions made up of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Trade Union Congress, TUC and Joint Public Service Negotiation Council, JPSNC, in a communiqué signed by NLC chairman, Comrade Godwin Anya, his TUC counterpart, Comrade Ordue Tartenger and that of the JPSNC, Philip Nongo, issued the ultimatum on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, workers of Kwara State Water Corporation, Ilorin have protested in Ilorin, the state capital over alleged non- payment of their four months salary arrears from the months of July to October, this year.

The workers were also protesting against the non-remittance of 10 months co-operative deductions (January to December 2015), amounting to about N70 million, outstanding promotion since 2012, non- remittance of already deducted National Housing Fund, union deductions from October, 2014 to June 2015,eight months outstanding areas of N3, 000 addition to 18,000 minimum wage amounting to N5.4million

The protesters, who gathered under the umbrella of Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE), Kwara State Water Corporation branch, blocked the entrance of the corporation along state Library Ilorin while the protest lasted for several hours.

They carried placards with various inscriptions such as “pay us our salary arrears” “We are not” fools “Give us our rights”, “No pay no work.”

The Benue labour, who wondered why the bailout funds that was accessed based on the payment vouchers of the workers would continued to be delayed and subjected to retinue of screenings thereby causing untold hardship to the state workforce.

They demanded that the ongoing biometric screening of workers be stopped forthwith and should not be used as a pre-requisite for the payment of salary arrears owed workers of the state, adding that the massive movement of the workers in the state for the screening could lead to loss of lives through accidents.

While questioning the competence of the contractor handling the screening exercise, having handled a similar exercise during the past administration in the state without any tangible result, the organized labour further called for immediate termination of his contract.

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