Edo Workers Issue Strike Notice

Organized Labour in Edo State has passed a no-confidence vote on the state governor, Godwin Obaseki and is spoiled for a showdown with him over what it called “critical issues” bordering on the welfare of workers in the services of the state government and its local governments. Rising from an enlarged joint meeting of state executive councils of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Trade Union Congress, TUC, and the Joint Negotiating Council, JNC, today (Monday February 6), the organized labour said they could no longer repose confidence and trust in the Obaseki administration “because his policy decisions are anti-workers and therefore repugnant to the principle of natural justice, equity and good conscience”. They have therefore handed the governor a seven-day ultimatum with effect from Monday, February 6, to Sunday, February 12, 2017, to meet all their demands, otherwise, they would embark on a mass peaceful protest on Monday, February 13, which would be followed by an indefinite strike action on Tuesday, February 14.  The workers are not happy with the governor over the continuous non-utilization of about N11.3 billion Paris Club Fund received by the state government for the payment of outstanding workers/pensioners’ emoluments.
Edo Workers

Edo Workers

In a nine-point communiqué, the labour unions urged the governor to immediately utilize the said funds to settle arrears of salaries owed local government workers in the state ranging from between four and 14 months; pay 2016 leave grant owed teaching and non-teaching staff in primary schools, including arrears of salaries owed staff of the state universal basic education board, SUBUB; as well as the payment of arrears of salaries owed staff of some tertiary institutions in the state, namely Tayo Akpata  University, Ekiadolor, Edo State Polytechnic, Usen, College of Education, Igueben, as well as Colleges of Agriculture, Iguoriakhi and Agenebode. They would also want the governor to offset seven months of unpaid salaries to the staff of Edo State judiciary as well as gratuities/pensions owed both the state and local government pensioners.

The labour bodies also berated the governor over what it called “the purported implementation” of the contributory pension scheme in the state “in flagrant and total disregard to Due Process and Rule of Law”. They said it was “highly unacceptable to organized labour in the state. They said in view of these observed anomalies in the said implementation, the state government should, as a matter of urgency, “stop the unlawful deductions from workers’ salaries and maintain the status quo ante in the interest of industrial peace and harmony”. They urged the government “to pay back to every worker the percentage amount of money already deducted forcibly” from their hard-earned meager monthly salaries in accordance with the principle of natural justice, equity, and fair play. In this regard, they would want the government to open the window for a more comprehensive dialogue with the leadership of organized labour in the state “towards having a more reliable, dependable, transparent, purposeful and accountable Contributory Pension Scheme in the state”.
They urged the government to open the state pension board for official business and pay arrears of salaries owed staff of the board since December 2015
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