It was close to two hours of pandemonium yesterday as members of the National Union of Postal and Telecommunications Employees (NUPTE) shut the National Headquarters of NIPOST in protest the non-payment of special allowances owed to them since 2011.
The protesters, numbering over a hundred completely paralysed business activities at the office for several hours. A three-day ultimatum issued to NIPOST management by the union to embark on a full scale strike elapsed yesterday.
The protest, which started as early as 9am involved most of the junior workers, some of whom are also aggrieved that NIPOST management has not been able to pay them their allowances, ranging from earned allowances, transfer allowance, burial expenses and repatriation allowances.
Some of the inscriptions on the placards carried by the protesters include “Level 6 receiving N23,000 only, how do we cope,” “monkey dey work, baboon dey chop,” “nonpayment of rent enhancement, non-remittance of tax deductions to FIRS”. Addressing journalists during the protest, NUPTE President, Sunday Alhassan, said that the workers were also displeased with cases of selective promotion devoid of increase in their salaries.
He said their grievances had been previously transmitted through a letter to the Minister of Labour, Emeka Wogu, stressing that nothing has so far been done to address the situation.
“These are NIPOST workers protesting over organisation’s inability to pay them their earned allowances, these allowances also cover transfer allowance, burial expenses and repatriation allowance which has not been paid for more than two years now.
“We have cases of workers here being promoted without financial connection for over two years, we have discriminatory payment of what they call rent enhancement to some categories of workers while some are not earning it .We have also complained to the management over these years but they have refused to listen that is why the workers are actually protesting,” he said.
Meanwhile, General Manager, Corporate Communications of NIPOST, Mr. Taiye Olaniyi said the management had called for a round table discussion over the contending issues but the Independence day anniversary celebrated on Tuesday hindered it from holding.
He however condemned the activities of NUPTE for preventing other staff of the corporation from working saying, “Efforts are on so far to consolidate on the agreement reached with management, particularly on the grey areas. “We resolved through our consolidation effort and they agreed that we will meet on Tuesday but unfortunately the holiday hindered that effort, later we started hearing calls from many places that our post offices were being locked by staff of the same organization.Enraged workers shut Abuja NIPOST offi ce by ngcareers