*Govt assures of meeting demands soon
By; BALA B. BITRUS, Minna
Whilst the Niger State Government is saying striking workers in all public sector in the state would return to their work places soon, the organised labour In the state is insisting that their demands must be met first just as labour said there was no truth in government’s propaganda about calling off the strike.
The leadership of the organised labour in the state in a statement at the weekend, said that there was no end in sight in the ongoing strike embarked upon since February 4th as the strike would continue until the workers’ demands were met by the state government.
The statement, jointly signed by Messrs Yakubu Garba, Chairman Nigeria Labour Congress, (NLC) and his Trade Union Congress, (TUC) counterpart, Yunusa Tanimu declared that negotiations with the state government had not yielded any positive result acceptable to the organized labour.
It would be recalled that the organized labour in the state had directed all public workers in the state government’s employment to embark on an indefinite strike over non implementation of the new national minimum wage and other entitlements including payment of pension entitlements to retired civil servants in the state.
The statement reads in parts; “negotiations between organised labour and the government of Niger state is yet to achieve any tangible result” as such citizens are enjoined to ignore rumours by mischief makers and agents of falsehood who have been publishing falsehood.
The statement enjoined all public sector workers in the state to discountenance the rumours and awaits further updates/directives from the organised labour.
“Civil servants are urged to remain calm and prayerful as negotiations continue. Industrial unions are to continue to liaise with the labour centres (NLC/TUC) in Niger state to ensure full mobilisation.
The statement insisted that the strike will continue till the demands of the workers were met”.
Spokesperson of Governor Abubakar Bello, Mary Noel Barje had last Thursday disclosed that the leadership of organised labour in the state would soon sign agreement to call off the strike with government.
This position by the governor’s spokesperson was however deconstructed by the statement signed by the duo of the chieftains of the organized labour.
Parts of the demands of labour included the immediate payment of consequential adjustment and accrued arrears to all categories of workers both at the state and local government levels.
It also include the immediate resumption of payment of outstanding annual leave grants for 2019 to deserving workers at both state and local government level as well as a clear commitment from the state government on pension policy in the interest of workers.