…NLC/TUC/JPSNC issue 9points demand

by Yusuf Lawal

kogi.labour-NLC-ShowdownWorkers in Kogi state commenced an indefinite strike on December 23. Two weeks after, the strike has virtually paralysed the state. The strike is being organised by the Nigeria Labour Congress, Trade Union Congress and Public Service Joint Negotiating Council. The major grouse of the workers is the non-payment of three months’ salaries.

 A 7-day ultimatum was issued to the state government demanding the payment of these backlog on December 13. There were also 8 more demands, which include: payment of leave arrears, payment of annual incremental rates, payment of promotion arrears, full implementation of minimum wage to teachers and local government workers and full implementation of CONHESS to health workers.

The unions are convinced that Captain Idris Wada has deliberately chosen not to pay, while milking the state dry, because he was defeated in the recent gubernatorial election and is leaving state house on January 27, 2016.

In a statement signed by signed by the NLC State Chairman, Onuh Eboka, A.D Ganiyu of TUC, Aaron Akeji of PSJNC, they asked the governor to explain what he did with N10bn it recently collected for “infrastructure”. They also informed the world that the state government spent N700m in one week on “security”.

Speaking with some of the striking workers, Socialist Worker could feel their passionate commitment to the strike. A worker at the Kogi state polytechnic who chose to be anonymous said that “Wada is a thief. But we will not let him go away with our money. It is no retreat, no surrender”.

Kogi workers are fighting a just cause. The strike could be built into a massive wave of working people’s protests across the state. Peaceful demonstrations and rallies, circulation of bulletins/pasting posters within the communities and the persistence being displayed by the unions with the strike already, are how we can win.