FROM: EMMANUEL ADEYEMI, Lokoja.
The organised labour in Kogi State, on Monday, accused Governor Yahaya Bello of planning to proscribe various labour unions in the state if workers carry out their threats of embarking on an indefinite strike this Friday.
The allegation was made known in a statement jointly issued by the Secretaries of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Olakunle Faniyi, Trade Union Congress, Comrade Kolawole James and Alhaji I. A. Abubakar of Joint Public Sector Negotiating Council, a copy of which was made available to Daily Sun.
Labour had, last week given a 7-day ultimatum to the state government or it proceed on an indefinite strike over non-payment of salaries and what they called ‘casualisation in the civil service’.
The state government had also, in last July, proscribed the Kogi State University chapter of the Academic staff Union of University (ASUU) after a protracted industrial action.
The Labour statement read in parts: “We are aware that the state government has begun its antics of threats and intimidation of workers, brandishing the weapons of sack and the over used but ineffective ‘no-work-no-pay’ slogan, all of which have no place in any civilised setting.
“This government has brought workers down to the lowest level and as such we fear neither fall ,sack nor non-payment of salary, we are ready for the worst as we shall never compromise in fighting for rights of our members” the statement noted.
” We therefore called on workers to disregard all the manoeuvring of government aimed at using flimsy and irrelevant innuendos to take attentions away from the core foundation of their agitations.
“We are resolute on saying NO to the casualisation of the Kogi State workforce through the clock-in-clock-out policy, we reject completely the attempt of government to use a hoarse contributory pension scheme to further impoverish workers, and we insist that government pay the salaries and pension scheme of workers and pensioners who have been denied salaries and pension for the past 21 months.
“We also demand that all other categories of arrears ranging from 2 to 3 months owed the workers must be paid immediately as we demand the stoppage of percentage payment of salaries to primary schools’ teachers and local government workers.
“We rather call on government to channel its energies towards meeting all the demands of workers and stop dissipating energy on the status of signatories of our bulletins,” the statement stated.
In a swift reaction, the governor’s media Aide, Kingsley Fanwo, said the state government was yet to decide on the ultimatum given by labour saying that the allegations by the unions of attempted proscription of the the union was “preemptive and reek of defeatist tendencies. Labour can speak for Labour, not for government. They should await our response.”