Benue State Labour Congress on Showdown with Governor Over Salary Deductions

The Nigeria Labour Congress in Benue state is set to begin the mother of all strikes on Thursday following the deduction of its workers June salaries by the state government to enable it pay teachers’ minimum wage.

The development is against the background of Governor Gabriel Suswam’s appeal to cut down on state workers salaries in order to pay primary schools teachers who had resumed academic activities barely four weeks ago after an eight months old protracted strike to press home their demand for the minimum wage being enjoyed by other civil servants in the state. But, state chairman of NLC, Comrade Simon Anchaver today told Daily Trust in Makurdi that the workers never reached a compromise with government to deduct their salaries and as such the body would convey a meeting tomorrow to discuss the matter which would likely lead them to stay out of work in the days ahead.

“They (government) did that on their own. We have not agreed on anything yet and they just started deducting our salaries. After our meeting tomorrow, we will definitely go on strike,” he said.

Suswam had earlier in May disclosed his decision to reduce workers salaries in the state by 10 percent while political appointees salaries would be slashed by 25 percent in-order to accommodate the teachers’ demand as his administration could not afford to make up the differences from its dwindling allocation. Our correspondent reports that since last week, workers whose salaries were touched have taking to the social media to rain abusive words on the governor even as they spoil for war and have asked that they government revert to their old earning rate. Some of them also claimed that the government deducted more than the 10 percent it actually appealed for even though they had refused the idea from the onset.

source: Daily Trust

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