Workers In 18 States Begin Strike Monday Over Unpaid Salaries, Pensions | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Workers In 18 States Begin Strike Monday Over Unpaid Salaries, Pensions

Posted: May 22, 2015 at 6:37 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Celestine Amoke, Lagos

It emerged on Friday, May 22, 2015, that 18 out of 36 states of the federation would begin an indefinite strike on Monday, May 25, 2015, over unpaid salaries and pensions.
The states involved are Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Benue, Cross River, Ekiti, Imo, Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Kogi, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers and Zamfara.
The General Secretary, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Dr. Peter Ozo-Eson, who gave the hint said the congress had sent its task force team to the states to enforce the strike.
 “The various Task Forces are working. Plateau is on strike, Cross Rivers is going on Monday; the various task forces are working. A team is leaving for Benue to commence action; they are now free to commence action and we are supporting them,” he said.
He said Abia State had not paid salaries of workers of the State Teaching Hospital for nine months; owing workers of the Hospital Management Board eight months’ salary; Abia State Universal Basic Education Board, six months; Abia State Polytechnic, five months; local government workers, four months; and teachers, three months’ salary arrears.
Furthermore, he said though Enugu State had paid salaries of civil servants up to date, parastatals were owed 12 months’ salaries and pension and gratuity remained unpaid since 2010.
Other states owing salaries are Osun State with six months’ salary and pension arrears; Plateau with six months salaries and seven months pension arrears; Benue with five months salaries and four months pension arrears; Kogi with four months of pension and salary arrears; and Oyo which owes three months salaries and between five and 11 months of pension arrears, he said.
“Jigawa owes judiciary workers a month salary arrears in 2015; Ondo one month salary and pension arrears, while Ogun owes one month salary and 52 months of unremitted pension deductions to the Pension Fund Administration.
“Although Zamfara State has paid workers’ salaries up to date, the salaries of workers who were recruited in 2014 have not been paid,” he stated.
The NLC also stated that Rivers State owes one month of workers’ salaries and three months of pension while Kano has yet to pay newly employed teachers for three months.
Meanwhile, a senior civil servant in the Obokun Local Government Area of Osun State, Mr. Ojo Owolabi, has attempted to end his life over his inability to feed his family due to the failure of the state government to pay salaries.
 Civil servants in the state have not been paid their salaries in the past six months, it was learnt.
Owolabi was reported to have attempted to take his life by drinking a large quantity of insecticide at his residence last Saturday.
Owolabi, a sanitary officer at the council, was rushed to the hospital and was receiving treatment.
Sources said he became frustrated as a result of his inability to meet his family’s needs.
 “Baba Ibeji drank herbicide. He was frustrated because he has been unable to feed himself and other members of his family. You are aware that the state government has not paid workers for some months now. I think he just lost hope and decided to take his life by drinking Gramoxone,” the source said.
The Chairman, Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees, Mr. David Owoeye, who confirmed the incident said: “We don’t want to make it public so that it will not embarrass the family.”
A factional Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Gambi Yusuf, said that unpaid salaries had caused workers untold hardship.
“Anybody who is not paid for six months is a walking corpse. What do you expect him to eat? How do you expect the workers to feed their children?” he queried.
He advised government to be more serious about workers’ welfare.
“We are appealing to the government to pay workers because workers deserve their wages,” he stated.