The Borno State Chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), says it will distribute 100, 000 face masks and sanitisers to protect workers and stem further spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in the state.
The state Chairman, Bulama Abiso, disclosed this at the 2020 May Day celebration on Friday in Maiduguri.
Abiso said that this year’s celebration titled: “COVID-19 Pandemic and its Socio-economic impact on the Nigerian working class,” was held without funfair due to outbreak of the pandemic in the country.
He said that the face mask was to complement the effort of the state government in combating COVID-19 and to protect the workers from contracting it.
Abiso commended the state government for adopting proactive measures toward containing the virus from spreading in the state.
“Dear comrades, it is no longer news that COVID-19 is real, as we gather here today, about five of our frontline health workers are currently at isolation centre as a result of contracting the virus.
“While also commending them for payment of stipends to the frontline health workers at the isolation centre, there is the need for the government to implement the hazard allowance approved by the Federal Government to health workers in the state,” he said.
The chairman urged the workers to adopt the habit of social distancing, wearing of face mask, regular and frequent washing of hands with soap or sanitizer to stay safe.
Abiso also called on individuals, corporate organisations and other humanitarian agencies to assist the state government in combating the pandemic.
On worker’s welfare, Abiso urged the government to rescind its decision of suspending the promotion of civil servants until 2021.
The labour leader argued that such decision would undermine the productivity expected of the workers and create industrial disharmony in the system.
“The organised labour advises that proper and appropriate mechanism be put in place to check further abuse of the procedure, if any, but not suspending a legitimate right of workers.
“The question usually asked is what will be the faith of a worker who is due to be promoted and proceeded for retirement within the period.
“It will interest the government to know that workers in the state have been patient and tolerant for the past five years without any promotional benefit and all of a sudden rather than issuing a latter to stimulate them, the exercise has been halted.
“This, we believe will not augur well, we therefore demand for the reversal of the said circular,” he said.
He added that in the mood of COVID-19 pandemic, it was not good to put pressure on government, rather, we strongly request the government to pay leave transport grant and gratuity to both state and local government staff and retirees.
He lauded Gov. Babagana Zulum, for his approach towards addressing issues concerning biometric data capture exercise for workers and prayed that other unresolved issues would be considered by the state government.