By Joan Nwagwu
Abuja, Feb. 6, 2017(NAN)The organised labour says it has concluded plans to commence a series of mass actions against those states that are owing workers’ salaries, pensions and gratuities in the country.
The President of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Mr Ayuba Wabba, stated this at a news conference in Abuja on Monday.
Wabba said that the mass action would be done in collaboration with the Trade Union Congress (TUC) as part of the initiatives to make the mass action a successful one.
The NLC president said the action had become necessary to demonstrate the anger of the workers over the insensitive dispositions of the affected states.
He said that the affected states, apart from receiving several bailout grants from the Federal Government, also got substantial funds from the Paris Club refunds.
“In spite of the Paris Club refunds to some of the states, some of them are not making efforts to ensure that workers interest is given the priority it deserved. Gratuity in most of the states are also building up, we have liability of gratuity ranging between seven months and some 77 months. The worst-case scenario is Imo State, where we have liability of gratuity of 77 months with pensions.”
Wabba said that the Imo State government had contemplated paying the pensioners 60 per cent of their 77 months’ pension arrears which the pensioners had rejected.
According to Wabba, some states receive less but they do not have liability of salaries and pensions while some receive much but have accumulated liabilities.
He said that the organised labour would also hold a one-day rally on good governance and anti-corruption campaign.
Wabba said that the rally would be held at the instance of the NLC and the TUC.
The NLC president said that the rally would be held on Feb. 9, in Lagos and Abuja simultaneously.
He said that the rally, which was supposed to be held initially on Feb. 7, 2017, was shifted to Feb. 9.
NAN reports that the rally had become an annual event of the organised labour to canvass for good governance and anti-corruption crusade in the country.
“We must canvass for good governance and fight against corruption because some state governments are not doing the needful as it concerns workers.
“The Nigeria’s Labour Movement has been contemplating on how to move against those states owing workers and pensioners.
“This portrays a lot of danger and challenges basically because, in some of those states, they do not look at the issue of workers’ salaries, among others as a priority.
“So, the whole essence of the rally for good governance is to see that our political elite get their priority right.
“It is in this context that the NLC and the TUC are going to undertake a second round of campaign for good governance and the fight against corruption.
“ We realise from the data we have that it is not about how much those states earn, but it is about how transparent the process is in those states.’’
He said that the rally was also a quest for the new minimum wage for workers in the country.
“Basically, whether we like it or not, corruption will continue to fight back, except we the working class and others come together to defeat those forces. Nobody will help us,’’ he said.