Workers Task Suswam On Payment Of Outstanding Salaries Before May 29
WORKERS in Benue State yesterday urged the state Governor, Gabriel Suswam, to ensure the payment of all their outstanding salaries and allowances before the end of his tenure as they joined their counterparts across the country to mark this year’s Workers’ Day celebration.
The workers, who could not hide their anger over non-payment of their salaries, booed representatives of the Governor as they stood up to address them on his behalf.
The Trade Union Congress (TUC) celebrated the Day at the Aper Aku Stadium while the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) celebrated at IBB Public Square, both in Makurdi, the state capital.
Addressing their members, the state chapter of the TUC led by its Chairman, Ordue Tartenger, urged the Governor to clear all outstanding salaries of civil servants and pensioners arrears before the end of his tenure this May 29.
Tartenger also asked the state government to stop henceforth the deductions being made on monthly salaries of civil servants in the state under the guise of ‘donation, contribution and levy.’
The TUC leaders, who faulted the state government for failing to consolidate the implementation of the minimum wage as earlier agreed, further urged Suswam to pay the leave grant arrears of 2012, 2013 and 2014, and to schedule payment for 2015 in due course.
Emmanuel Jumpa, who spoke at the NLC celebration ground, lamented that for the first time in the history of the state, the Workers’ Day was being celebrated in low key owing to some outstanding issues that affect the lives and welfare of workers in the state.
Jumpa said: “As you are aware, the trying time have heavily descended on the workforce — salaries are irregular, institutions of higher learning are on strike, judiciary staff are also on strike for over four months, markets and other businesses have almost come to a standstill. In fact, the situation can best be described as governance in stagnation.”
But Suswam, who was represented at the NLC venue by the Head of Service, Mr. Terna Ahua, said his administration had given welfare of workers in the state top priority since the inception of his administration.
He explained that irregular or delay in payment of salaries, which is forcing hardship on the workers, was due to dwindling federal allocation as a result of the fall in oil price at the global market.
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