ANOTHER round of industrial crisis looms in Kogi State as the organised labour has disagreed with the state government over conditions stipulated for payment of salary arrears owed workers and alleged disregard to established civil service rules by government.
The labour movement also said government failed to implement the agreement reached with it on February 1 before the suspension of the strike embarked upon in December 2015.
This was contained in a statement jointly signed by the chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress(NLC), Onuh Edoka, that of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Ojo Ranti, his Joint Negotiating Council (JNC) counterpart, Aaron Akeji and the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) chairman, Ndalaye Abdullahi and their secretaries.
The organised labour said it opposed the arbitrary decision of the state government to compel workers in the public service to open accounts with certain banks before their salaries could be paid to them.
It noted that the policy was an infringement on the fundamental human right of workers to personal accounts with any bank of their choice which might be dictated by some reasons personal to the workers.
The statement read, “Labour is not convinced of the reasons adduced by the governor over government’s decision on the issue as it has potency of compounding the hardship already bedevilling workers in the state. Besides, most workers already have business commitments with their current banks predating this administration, implying that the policy will definitely set them against their banks with unpleasant consequences that they may suffer.
“Consequently, labour hereby demand for immediate reversal to the status quo of paying workers salaries through their existing bank accounts that they have been using over time for their salaries.”
The unions also frowned at the alleged disregard to the established civil service rules regarding appointments at local government level and the indefinite suspension of top government civil servants in the state.
The statement said, “Whereas, labour is not out to protect any officer that is found wanting, in his assignments; we take exception to a blanket suspension imposed in the affected officers without finding them guilty of any known offence.
“Therefore, we demand for the immediate recall and reinstatement of all suspended officers, more so that one of them has been reinstated as acting permanent secretary, Government House.”