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May Day Celebration Cancelled In Kogi State Over Non-Payment Of Salaries
The organised labour has cancelled this year’s celebration of workers’ day in Kogi State, in protest of the non-payment of workers’ salaries and pensions of retirees.
This was contained in joint statement issued by the state Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Onu Edoka, and his Trade Union Congress, TUC, counterpart, Ranti Ojo.
The unions noted that the non-payment of salary to a large number of workers and pensioners over the past 14 months is gradually destroying the state civil service as well as dwindling its workforce.
They also expressed worry over the hardship being faced by workers and pensioners who were affected by a verification exercise conducted by the state government, which purportedly led to the discovery of thousands of ghost workers and ghost pensioners.
The statement also noted that the government was using the so-called screening exercise to deliberately perpetuate irregularities as it has refused to make available to the organised labour, copy of the report of the screening appeal committee.
“The non-payment of salary and pension, has led to the loss of lives and also brought untold hardship to workers in Kogi State,” the unions stated.
“In the face of all these negative happenings, it is therefore advisable for workers not to make themselves available for any act of molestation, harassment and intimidation by any security agency.
“All affiliate unions are to adhere strictly to this resolution, which is in solidarity with workers and pensioners that have not been paid in the last 14 months, including those that have lost their lives during the period,” the statement added.
However, the Director-General, Media and Strategy to the Kogi state governor, Kingsley Fanwo, said a stakeholders meeting will soon be convened in order for a common position to be taken on the report of the staff screening and verification committee.
Fanwo noted that the objective of the screening was not to sack workers, but reform the civil service for optimum performance, adding however that anyone found to have secured employment with fake documents would be shown the way out.