… We are yet to decide –Govt
From Emmanuel Adeyemi, Lokoja.
Organised labour in Kogi State has accused Governor Yahaya Bello of plans to proscribe various unions if workers embarking on indefinite strike on Friday.
This was made known in a statement jointly issued by Secretaries of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Olakunle Faniyi, Trade Union Congress (TUC), Kolawole James and Alhaji I.A Abubakar of Joint Public Sector Negotiating Council.
Labour had, last week, given a seven-day ultimatum to the state government, that they would go on indefinite strike over non-payment of salaries and what they called ‘casualisation in the civil service.’
The state government had also, last July, proscribed Kogi State University chapter of the Academic staff Union of University (ASUU), over protracted industrial action.
“We are aware that the state government has begun its antics of threats and intimidation of workers, brandishing the weapon 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.
“ We, therefore, callon workers to disregard all the manoeuvring of government aimed at using flimsy and irrelevant innuendos to take attentions away from the core foundation of our agitations.
“We are resolute on saying no to casualisation of the Kogi state workforce, through the clock-in-clock-out policy. We reject, completely, government’s attempt 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 two to three months, owed workers, must be paid immediately as we demand 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,” labour stated.
In a swift reaction, the governor’s media aide, Kingsley Fanwo, said the state government has yet to decide on Labour’s ultimatum and added that Monday’s allegation of proscribing the union “is preemptive and reeks of defeatist tendencies. Labour can speak for Labour, not for government. They should await our response.”