NLC, TUC demand payment of new minimum wage before Dickson leaves office
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) with other sister Unions in Bayelsa State, on Tuesday, shut down the State’s Treasury building demanding payment of their salaries, arrears and implementation of the new minimum wage before the governor of the state, Hon. Seriake Dickson leaves office on February 14th, 2020.
The state workers who were led by their different chapter chairmen and secretaries arrived the building before 7 am Tuesday morning, locking workers and the Accountant General of the State outside.
Addressing the workers, state chairman of the TUC, Comrade Julius Laye, noted that the current government is not considering the plight of the workers of the state, adding that they were all aware that the state has received an allocation for the month of January but they were wondering why their salaries are being delayed.
“Our situation is so pathetic, we need assurance that we will be paid, schools have resumed and teachers are expected to get their pay. Parents need their pay to settle bills of their wards in school. We are aware that FAAC has met and sent the allocation to the state but the cause of the delay is what we are wondering at.
“States that don’t get as much as we get started paying the new salary structure, so what are we talking about. We are also aware that some persons have been moving monies from here, and that is the reason we are staging this our position.
“We want the Accountant General to come and tell us the position of the salaries since she’s also a worker like us. We will hold her responsible if the government fails, we will not wait till the next week proposed by the government.”
Also speaking, the State Chairman of NLC, Comrade John Ndiomu, said: ” We are all here to get our January salaries and nothing less and we will not leave here until we are given full assurance that the salaries will be paid today or tomorrow.”
Explaining further, Ndiomu, stated that politicians have paid themselves, but civil servants have been left in the dark to suffer, stressing that union would condone the attitude of government anymore.
“The position of the government is not acceptable, our own position is that we will get our pay if not tomorrow all the workers will come out in protest.”
In her brief, the Chairman, National Association of Nigerian Nurses & Midwives (NANNM), Comrade Andabai Mbeleokpo, said the anger of workers in the state is hinged on the delay of salary and non-implementation of the new minimum wage.
“In December, more than half of the workforce of the state didn’t receive their salaries, so we are not leaving until something substantial is done.”
Reacting to the incident, the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Kemela Okara, noted that the government has made its point clear on the minimum wage issue and its commitment to implementing the new structure guaranteed.
He assured the workers of payment of their salaries next week before the new government takes over, appealing that for as long as workers of Treasury can’t access their offices, the payment of salaries would be further delayed.