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Rivers NLC/TUC excited at planned Protest over Alleged Anti-labour Practices by Rivers Government on Monday

Allege some Rivers workers are owed seven months salaries.

Allege Arrest and prosecution of Chairman of Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria, JUSUN, Anthony Wachukwu allegedly earlier detained in Government House, his whereabouts still unknown.

BY IBRAHIM BAKARE

Rivers State Chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) have expressed excitement on the planned  march on the streets of Port Harcourt on Monday, September 8, to protest alleged anti-labour policies by the state government by Governor Nyesom Wike’s administration.

Speaking on the plan street Protest, Comrade Beatrice Ituboh, Chairman of state NLC said NLC and TUC  and their affiliate bodies said for ones the parent has finally heard cry of the Workers and the anti-labour policies of Governor Nyesom Wike towards the organized labour in state.

She said that the organized labour in state will by the public protest let the world know about the suffering of workers and Pensioners in the midst of plenty.

A statement issued by the national President of NLC Ayuba Wabba among other things said “Nigerian workers under the aegis of NLC and TUC and our civil society allies in the discharge of our constitutional rights will embark on a peaceful protest in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on September 8, 2020.”

The unions said the protest is to draw the attention of the world to the infractions on workers and trade union rights in Rivers State.

Addressing a joint press conference in Abuja on Thursday, the NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, and his TUC counterpart, Quadri Olaleye, said the Rivers State Government had unleashed several anti-labour actions on workers in its employ.

Wabba, who read the position of the two labour unions, said that some of the infractions committed by the Rivers State Government included the act of lawlessness by sealing off the NLC Rivers State council, persecution and prosecution of trade union leaders on trumped up charges.

NLC accused the Rivers State Government of alleged arrest and prosecution of Rivers State  Chairman of Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria, JUSUN, Anthony Wachukwu, who said to have been earlier detained in Government House,and later kinapped with his whereabouts still unknown.

Other anti-labour actions include, non-payment of gratuity and pensions to pensioners since 2015, and non-payment of promotion arrears since 2015.

Governor Nyesom Wike, accused of anti-labour tactics.

Comrade Beatrice Ituboh Chairman NLC, Rivers State.

Wabba also said that the Rivers State Government has failed to clear the arrears of pension and gratuity indebtedness in the state.

“This wicked act has become the living nightmare of senior citizens who are being punished for serving the state. These pensioners are dying in droves as a result of neglect,” he said.

The NLC President said the state government is owing some workers in the state up to seven months’ salaries.

According to him, “February and March 2016 salaries of teachers in Rivers State were not paid due to the biometric test ordered by the state government. Health workers in Rivers State were denied their October 2017 salary due to their participation in the national strike by the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU).

“Refusal to negotiate with workers’ organizations on salary adjustments consequent on the new national minimum wage.“Since the enactment of the new national minimum wage of N30,000, there has been no collective bargaining agreement and enabling circular for the implementation of the new national minimum wage in Rivers State.”

Wabba said the state government has also refused to conclude negotiations on consequential salary adjustments with workers in Rivers State and has also excluded all the tertiary institutions in Rivers State from benefitting from any consequential salary adjustment.He further alleged that the Rivers State government deployed hired thugs to attack workers both individually and as a group.

He said: “The attack on trade union leaders and violent disruption of the Rivers State Executive Council meeting on August 27, 2020 was only an icing on the cake of Wike’s malfeasance.”

The NLC president also accused the state government of refusing to remit statutory check-off dues to trade unions.

He said that by refusing to remit the statutory check-off dues to unions and the labour centres, the Rivers State Government is projecting an overt agenda of suffocating trade unions in the state to death in clear violation of Section 17 of Nigeria’s Trade Union Act.

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