By Amuda Dan Sulaiman FAB
Organized labour unions in Kogi State on Monday resumed strike to compel the Kogi State Government to pay outstanding salaries owed to workers in the State as Governor Yahaya Bello threatened to invoke the “no work, no pay” rule.
Labor directed all workers to remain at home following the expiration of a 21-day ultimatum issued to the State government to pay all outstanding salaries and allowances.
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) in a joint congress last Friday at the NLC Secretariat resolved that they could no longer guarantee industrial harmony in the State.
The Organized Labour said the directive became imperative, as the government had refused to yield to their demands by relieving workers of the economic hardships they were enduring.
“Workers are by this development advised to stay off their places of work and remain at home as long as the strike may last.
“Once the strike commences, only the Joint Councils of NLC and TUC could call it off,” the unions added
Meanwhile the State Government, Yesterday at a press briefing warned civil servants in the state not to participate in Monday’s indefinite strike called by the Organized Labour.
The State Commissioner for Information, Awwal Muhammed who addressed newsmen at the NUJ Press Centre, Lokoja, warned civil servants against participating in the strike, adding that any worker who participated in the strike would not be entitled to his or her wage.
He stressed that; “The attention of all Public Officers is drawn to the notice issued by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to embark on an indefinite strike from Monday 27th, 2016.
“Accordingly, Security agencies have been directed to ensure unimpeded access to offices, work places and markets.
“All Commissioners, Permanent Secretaries and Heads of Government Agencies are hereby directed to invoke the provision of “no work no pay” in respect of any staff who absents him or herself from work to join the strike action.
“Attendance registers are required to be opened in all Ministries, Departments and Agencies.”
In his reaction to the state government’s threat, an aggrieved civil servant, (names withheld) said, “What we heard the governor say on the radio yesterday was very unfortunate and regrettable. How can someone who was just elected into office abuse everyone in the State in such a derogatory manner?
“If he says he will sack us for asking for our salaries, let him pay us for the months we have worked. If I did not hear him, I would not have believed that a sitting governor who is yet to know his fate would use such a libelous tone to insult everyone in the State.
“The die is cast, let us see who blinks first, but he should know that nothing lasts forever,” the aggrieved civil servant said.
This reporter can authoritatively state that the strike ordered by the Organized Labour has began. All government offices, primary and secondary schools are under luck and key.
Security men are drafted to some troubled prone areas in Lokoja metropolis.