Friday, 30 October 2015

BAILOUT FUND: Labour threatens Benue govt over unpaid salaries

Irked by the delay in the payment of backlog of salaries, organized labour in Benue State has given state government 72 hours within which to pay the arrears from the recently accessed N28billion bailout fund or face an industrial action.

In a statement jointly issued yesterday by Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, Trade Union Congress,TUC, and the Joint Public Service Negotiation Council, JPSNC, Labour also urged workers to shun the ongoing biometrics screening of workers in the state.

The statement read: “Organized Labour (NLC, TUC & JPSNC) has critically examined the ongoing biometric screening of workers and resolved that the on-going screening be stopped forthwith.

“The screening should not be a prerequisite for payment of salary arrears owed workers. Benue workers should not be subjected to the untold hardships they are currently experiencing, especially that it could lead to loss of lives as a result of mass movement of workers.

“Organized Labour is not against any biometric screening initiated by government, however, we question the competence of the contractor handling the exercise, having handled a similar exercise during the past administration in the state without any tangible result.

“Moreover the said bailout fund was assessed based on the payment vouchers of the months in arrears; therefore, the fund is the representation of the financial implication of salary arrears owed Benue workers.

“Labour has resolved, therefore, that government should unconditionally pay workers their salary arrears on or before  Friday October 30, 2015, failure of which Labour will not guarantee any industrial harmony and tranquility.”

Vanguard learned that the meeting scheduled between labour leaders and the state government over the matter failed to hold as labour was not prepared to shift ground.

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