From Gyang Bere, Jos
Plateau State Government said the one-month-old protests by Local Government Workers in the state over the implementation of the National Minimum wage is more political than fighting for their rights.
Commissioner for information and Communication, Hon. Dan Manjang in a press statement issued on Friday in Jos expressed dissapoinment that most of the workers who are calling for the crucification of Governor Simon Lalong are over 2000 recalled workers who were sacked by the Jang administration.
“Their action is more political than a fight for their rights has become repulsive and devoid of public sympathy. Nobody will stop them if they have political ambitions and want to pursue it.
“However, they need to come out and embrace partisan politics rather than hide under minimum wage struggle only to disrupt the stability of the State.
“The unwarranted attacks, misinformation and mischief of the Local Government employees aimed at tarnishing the good name of the amiable worker-friendly Governor, Simon Bako Lalong, is unnecessary and a great act of treachery and ingratitude for all he has done to improve their conditions.”
Manjang said the State Government appealed to the Local Government employees to show maturity and understanding by interfacing with their employers, the Local Government Councils as disruption of public peace and Government activities will no longer be tolerated.
He clarified that the Federal Government is responsible for the implementation of the minimum wage at the Federal level while the State Governments at the States level and the Local Government Chairmen are responsible for the implementation at the local government level.
“It is common knowledge that Local Government employees are hired, disciplined, promoted and fired where necessary by Local Government Councils (their employers) and not the State Government.
“This is moreso when the implementation of Local Government autonomy has since commenced in Plateau State. The State Government which is a separate tier of Government has no responsibility for the implementation of the new minimum wage for Local Government staff and the Governor cannot force it down their throat.
“It is purely the business of Local Government Councils to negotiate with their employees based on their capacity to pay. This is exactly what happend between Federal Government and its employees as well as the States and its employees.
“If the Federal Government did not force the States to implement the new minimum wage, why do Local Government employees in Plateau State want the Governor to force the Local Government Councils to pay their employees when he has no control over their resources? Or should any State fail to pay the minimum wage to its workers, will they march to Abuja to seal off the Federal Secretariat?”.