The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Abia State has warned that their indefinite strike would continue until the state government fulfils its agreement with Labour.
This was as the state government seems to be reneging on its agreement with Labour over the payment of salaries and pensions.
After the Labour leaders meeting Monday afternoon, a communique was issued by the Abia NLC Secretary, Com.Pst.Emma Alozie, stating “The attention of the State Council of Congress has been drawn to the government special announcement in which it claimed that the state government has fulfilled its promise of paying the salaries of Abia workers.
“It is rather appalling that the government which throughout their time treated Abia workers and pensioners with negligence and violation of their rights, that pushed many workers and pensioners to their early grave is claiming to have fulfilled his promise.
“For the avoidance of doubt, labour and government agreement before the Director of SSS Abia State Command was that they will pay by last Friday all sectors of Abia workers, while the second-month salary would follow simultaneously.
“The State secretariat of Congress had been monitoring with kin interest the way government started handling the purported payment. The council wish to state that selective payment is unacceptable to us. And, with the majority of Abia workers left out of the claimed payment, we state unequivocally that no payment has been made.
“The situation is more disheartening when you recall that this same government received bailout funds more than three times running into billions of naira meant for settlement of arrears of salaries and pensions in the state. What happened to that of Abia? Abia workers demand explanations.
“It is on record that over 22 years ago, the government of Abia State passed a law titled: ‘Abia State Governor/Deputy Governors Pension law.’
“We ask, who among the past governors/deputies are being owed pension/gratuity in the state?
“But today, the same government is owing pensioners in the state; 36 months of pension arrears and 22 years of gratuity. What a wicked world!
“From the foregoing, I call on all Abia workers to disregard any call from the government to report back to your workplaces from Monday, 15th May 2023. The government did not ask you to proceed on strike but labour. We shall return only when our demands are met.
“Labour leaders are requested to ensure total compliance as adequate punishment awaits any Union that will default. The National is following the ongoing strike.
“We call on all Abians of conscience to intervene by asking the Abia government to pay Abia workers and pensioners arrears of their salaries.
“All labour leaders are in the same vein, requested to forward this to their various platforms for a wider coverage.”
Speaking on the matter later, the state chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Pascal Iheme Nweke said Labour in the state is still on indefinite strike until the Abia State Government fulfils its agreement with it.
The state chairman, who spoke after Labour leaders met Monday afternoon to review the state government announced that it has started paying and urging workers to resume work from the indefinite strike, acknowledged that the weekend could have delayed the payments but insisted that Labour must see evidence before calling off and will not acknowledge selective payment.
He further informed workers that the union called them into the strike through a statement and will also call off the strike through a statement.