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Negotiate with labour to end rift over wages, others, Peterside tells Wike

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Dakuku Peterside


• Rivers govt refutes NLC’s allegation

A former governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, has urged Governor Nyesom Wike to negotiate with the organised labour in the state to avert avoidable controversies and industrial action. Peterside said his call was based on disagreement between Rivers State government and the organised labour.

According to him, labour had accused the governor of neglect of workers in the state in terms of promotion, payment of new minimum wage, pensioners’ dues, arrears of salaries and hounding of labour leaders in the state. He said it was unfair to treat workers with so much levity since the government would rely on these same workers to achieve its programmes.

Peterside said it was pertinent that the governor should look into the genuine concerns of the workers, who he said, deserve to be remunerated like their counterparts nationwide following the passage of the new minimum wage into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.

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HOWEVER, Rivers State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Prof. Zacchaeus Adangor, has cautioned the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) against abandoning a subsisting court case reserved for judgment on September 29, 2020 and embarking on its threatened strike scheduled to begin tomorrow.

He said that in the face of overt and unmitigated illegality by the organised labour, the Rivers State government approached the court because it believes in the rule of law.

According to him, the government obtained an interim injunction from the National Industrial Court of Nigeria sitting in Lagos to stop the labour’s strike while also seeking interpretation of provisions of the Trade Dispute Act and Trade Union Act.

Adangor said with the subsisting matter in court and the order of interim injunction, the organised labour in Rivers State would be committing contempt of court if it embarks on industrial action. He said that all the defendants had been duly served with the order of interim injunction and they cannot claim otherwise.

ALSO, the state government has refuted claim by the NLC, Ayuba Wabba, that government has mobilised thugs to attack protesting workers tomorrow in Port Harcourt.

Adangor, who described Wabba’s allegations as spurious, unfounded and malicious, said the state government would not engage in any act of illegality in confronting the monster of lawlessness, which the organised labour now appears to epitomise.

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