The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC has urged the Imo State Government to as a matter of urgency pay three months salary arrears owed to workers, pensioners in the state.
President of the Nigerian Labour Congress, Comrade Ayuba Wabba this in a letter addressed to the governor and made available to newsmen on Monday in Abuja.
Wabba said that workers and pensioners in the state were yet to receive salaries and pension since March 2020.
According to Wabba, I write to bring to your esteemed attention the unfair, inclement and very harsh working conditions that public workers in Imo State are currently facing.
“Some of these very dehumanizing conditions include: the payment of salaries are staggered as less than 70 per cent of public and civil servants have not been paid salaries since March 2020.
“Incidences of salary slashes for those who are paid salaries for example lawyers in the Ministry of Justice were paid only 25 per cent of their salaries for April, May and June and no reason was given for this.
“The negotiation between workers’ representative organisations and the Imo State Government on salaries adjustment consequent on the new national minimum wage has been suspended by the state government;
“Pensioners in Imo State are owed over 3 months pension arrears. Also the non-remittance of check-off deductions since February 2020 and stoppage of check-off dues deductions by Ministries, Departments and Agencies,” he said.
He, therefore, said that the Congress was worried about the prolonged salary indebtedness to Imo State workers and also arrears of salaries slashes.
According to Wabba, a worker certainly deserves his or her wages. Even the scriptures warn that workers should not be allowed to go to bed without their due wages.
The NLC president, however, said: “that there is no gainsaying the fact that what is going on right now in Imo State is akin to modern slavery.
“It is really unfortunate that even trade unions and other workers’ representative organisations are not spared the current hostile industrial relations climate in Imo State.
“We understand that statutory check-off dues deductions from workers in Imo State are not remitted to the trade unions and to the national labour centres as our labour laws demand.
“In fact, Ministries, Departments and Agencies in Imo State have for some time now stopped the deduction of check-off dues. These anti-labour behaviours are against our laws as a country.”
He, therefore, called for immediate payment of salaries arrears owed Imo state workers, especially those owed since March 2020 and also the full release of slashed salary arrears withheld by the Imo State government for about three months.
He also noted that the reactivation of the suspended negotiation between workers’ trade unions and the Imo State Government on salaries adjustment consequent on the new national minimum wage.
Wabba also called for the immediate payment to senior citizens their over there months pension arrears and also the immediate remittance of check-off dues deductions from workers’ salaries withheld since February 2020.
He further called for the reversal of the directives to and by the MDAs to stop check-off dues deduction.
“Your Excellency, we wish to state that the Nigeria Labour Congress would be forced to consider very serious industrial actions if our demands in the foregoing are not met,” he said.