Labour gives deadline on planned strike in Plateau
ORGANISED labour in Plateau State comprising the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Joint Negotiating Council (JNC) rose from its meeting yesterday afternoon giving the state government a 14-day ultimatum within which to resolve the outstanding labour issues with civil servants in the state.
After a meeting yesterday, NLC Chairman in the state, Jibrin Bancir, told journalists at a press conference that “organised labour is giving government 14 days notice to resolve the lingering issues within the ambit of the law or else we will be left with no option than to withdraw our services.”
Bancir said that labour has kept faith with history knowing that the collective bargaining approach machinery embarked upon by the union has never yielded any positive result as the good gestures are always met with rebuff by the state government.
The NLC chairman who recalled that they addressed journalists in September last year on the pressing issues of workers, added that it is sad to note that despite all efforts and persistent pressure mounted by labour, “the state government has not done anything tangible to resolve the contentious issues.”
He lamented that it is disturbing to say that after the signed agreement on payment of arrears of 2011 national minimum wage with the state government on the issue of six months arrears of minimum wage, “the government up till this moment is yet to open discussion on this issue with the organised labour.”
Bancir frowned at the issue of delay and indiscriminate payment of salaries and pension to workers and retirees, which he said still persists unabated. “The state government is owing civil servants three months arrears of salaries and since October 2014, pensioners have not been paid their entitlements by the state government.”
He also talked about reopening negotiation on national minimum wage to local council employees, full payment of 100% salary as retirement benefits to council employees and primary school teachers and the non-remittance of National Health Fund deduction to the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, stressing that the continued failure of government to remit the money will force the organised labour to ask its members to discontinue with the scheme in the state.