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Niger State Workers Begin Strike Action

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Organised labour in Niger State has begun indefinite strike over government’s decision to slash November salaries of workers by 30 percent.

Yakubu Garba, the state chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, disclosed this on Wednesday,  December 2, 2020, in Minna.

He said NLC and Trade Union Congress, TUC, resumed the suspended strike due to government’s refusal to meet their demands.

“The organised labour (NLC and TUC) in Niger State have resumed the suspended strike. The industrial action started at 12am today (yesterday),” he said.

The organised labour is demanding that the 30 per cent deferred balance of June salaries of workers must be paid.

They also demanded that the November salaries of workers must be paid 100 per cent and the 80 civil servants dismissed by the government must be re-absorbed into service.

He said negotiations between government and organised labour was not concluded on November 26, while government started payment of November salaries on November 27 with pay cut.

The labour chairman said while some workers received 30 percent less of their original salaries, others got 35 per cent.

He said civil servants have complied with the industrial action.

“I can assure you that all civil servants in Niger State have stayed away from their offices today. A report from our monitoring team shows total compliance,” he said.

Garba said by Thursday (today) traders and transport workers would join the strike, in order to shut down economic activities.

He said non-payment of workers has slowed economic activities.

“If there is recession and you don’t pay workers their salaries, there is no way we can come out of the recession.

“It is illegal to slash workers’ pay without their consent. The workers’ salaries are their right and not a privilege,” he said.

Mohammed Idris, the information and strategy commissioner, appealed to the organised labour to call off the strike in the interest of the state.

He urged the unions to see reason with the government.

Idris said security challenges facing the state such as banditry and kidnapping are some of the reasons behind the deferring of workers’ pay by 30 percent.

He said the measure would enable the government to save funds to tackle insecurity.

“We are not slashing workers’ salaries. What we are doing now is to defer workers’ salaries to tackle security issues and pay them when the economy improves,” he said.

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