NLC vows to have a showdown with Abia governor for owing workers as high as 30 months salary

NLC vows to have a showdown with Abia governor for owing workers as high as 30 months salary

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has threatened to commence strike in Abia State on Friday over six-month unpaid salaries of civil servants by the st

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The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has threatened to commence strike in Abia State on Friday over six-month unpaid salaries of civil servants by the state government.

The NLC President, Joseph Ajaero, revealed this during the inaugural meeting of the National Administrative Council (NAC) of the NLC in Abuja.

Ajaero revealed that the overlapping debt owed to workers by the Abia State Government made the union decide with the National Executive Council (NEC) to embark on a long-drawn protest in the state at the end of the 14 days warning given to the state.

The NLC had earlier served a notice of intention to stage what it described as mother of all strikes in Abia State in a letter dated 13th February and signed by the NLC president over the government’s alleged refusal to pay arrears of workers’ salaries and pension retirement benefits.

Ajaero said furtherance to this, the NEC decided to take all lawfully necessary actions to compel the Abia State Government to pay the over six-month salary arrears, allowances of workers and unpaid pension benefits.

To this effect, “The NAC resolved to direct all the affiliate unions to commence mobilization for the action in Abia State at the end of the 14-day ultimatum given to the government which ends on Friday, February 24, 2023.” Ajaero said.

Ajaero further revealed that the state was seen to have witnessed various protests in 2022 with little or no result seen.

Recall in July 2022, Workers from various unions including the National Union of Local Government Employees, (NULGE), Nigeria Union of Journalists, (NUJ), Nigeria Union of Teachers, (NUT), Academic Staff Union of Universities, (ASUU) from both the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, and the Abia State University Uturu, (ABSU) protested against the insensitivity of the government.

Some of the problems listed were unpaid salaries and allowances owed to Abia State workers in different state government Ministries Departments Agencies (MDAs), schools, and local governments, Unpaid Pension–August–December 2014 (5 months), Unpaid Pension–January–December 2018 (12 months), Arrears of Unpaid Gratuity–21 years (2001–2022), Non-implementation of Harmonized percentage increases in Pension Benefits and Non-Implementation of Minimum Pension.

Others include unpaid ABSUTH–23-month salary arrears, 30-month salary arrears of workers in Abia State polytechnic, and 11-month salary arrears of Secondary School Teachers.

The NLC had also accused the Abia state Governor Okezie Ikpazu of making the state one of the most worker-unfriendly sub-national states in the country.