The Nasarawa State leaders of organised labour say they refused to sign the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the state government and suspend the ongoing strike action because the government doctored the agreement.
Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress NLC, Yusuf Iya and Chairman, Trade Union Congress TUC, Mohammed Doma, stated this to newsmen after the Union’s meeting on Tuesday in Lafia.
The NLC Chairman explained that a committee set up after the strike was declared had collectively written an agreement (MoU) on what to do to end the strike.
He said the MoU collectively written stated that the last tranche of August 2016 salary arrears would be paid in June.
“We also agreed that promotions would be implemented from August while the committee on minimum wage should resume discussion on the consequential adjustments for workers in level seven and above.
“But to our surprise, the government doctored the agreement and included a clause that, whenever the federal allocation is less than N4 billion, the government would revert to old payment.
“Meaning that any month the allocation is less than N4 billion the government would suspend the implementation of the promotion and pay workers in their old grade levels,” the NLC Chairman said.
Mortgaging workers’ future
Iya said signing the agreement with the clause would mean mortgaging the future of workers and the leadership of the union would not succumb to that.
However, TUC Chairman expressed displeasure with the government for including what was not originally contained in the agreement written by representatives of labour and the government.
He said workers were very patient with the government but had to embark on the strike to fight for their rights to ensure carrier progression.
The TUC Chairman also used the opportunity and commended workers for their support and resilience since the strike started on August 15, 2020.
He therefore said workers would continue to stay at home until their demands are met by the state government.
The demands of the union include: partial implementation of minimum wage without recourse to due process of collective bargaining and lack of implementation of promotions since 2008.
Others are: lack of annual increments, lack of training, lack of confirmation of appointments of casual workers some of which are working for more than 10 years among others.
Source: Voice of Nigeria