New Telegraph

Labour writes Rivers, Imo govs over workers’ unpaid salaries

…threatens industrial action

 

Regina Otokpa Abuja Organised labour has expressed its displeasure over what was described as dehumanizing and harsh working conditions suffered by workers and pensioners in Imo State.

 

This came even as labour raised concerns over the non implementation of the new national minimum wage and an alleged anti-union posture by the Rivers State government to workers in the state.

 

In two separate letters signed by President of the NLC, Comrade Ayuba Wabba and President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Comrade Quadri Olaleye, and addressed to Governors of Imo and Rivers states respectively, the labour unions warned that failure to meet its demands in addressing the many issues confronting workers in the states, would leave them with no choice but to consider very serious industrial actions

The letters, which were sighted by newsmen yesterday in Abuja, listed staggered and unpaid workers’ salaries, salary slashes, non payment of pensioners allowances, non-remittance of check-off deductions since February 2020; and stoppage of check-off dues deductions by MDAs as some of the areas Imo State government has defaulted.

 

The letter reads in part: “We are particularly worried about the prolonged salary indebtedness to Imo State workers and also arrears of salaries slashes. A worker certainly deserves his or her wages.

 

There is no gainsaying the fact that what is going on right now in Imo State is akin to modern slave labour. “It is really unfortunate that even trade unions and other workers’ representative organizations are not spared the current hostile industrial relations climate in Imo State.’

 

Labour however demanded: “The immediate payment of salaries arrears owed Imo State workers especially those owed since March 2020; full release of slashed salary arrears withheld by the Imo State government for about three months now; reactivation of the suspended negotiation between workers’ trade unions and the Imo State Government on salaries adjustment consequent on the new national minimum wage.”

 

Others are: “Immediate payment to senior citizens (pensioners) their over three months pension arrears; and immediate remittance of check-off dues deductions from workers’ salaries withheld since February 2020 and the reversal of the directives to and by the MDAs to stop check-off dues deduction.

 

“We wish to state that the Nigeria Labour Congress would be forced to consider very serious industrial actions if our demands in the foregoing are not met.”

 

On the part of Rivers State, organized labour raised concerns over the sealing of the NLC Rivers State office, non implementation of the new national minimum wage, non-implementation of the annual salary increments by the Rivers State Government since 2015, non-implementation of promotions, non-payment of teachers outstanding salary arrears, non-payment of health workers in October 2017, non-payment of gratuity and pensions to pensioners, withholding trade unions statutory check off deductions among others.

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