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The Abia State Chapter of the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, joined their counterparts across the nation to observe a nationwide solidarity protest. This followed a directive by the national body of the union to protest some of the challenges confronting their members across the nation. Norah Okafor reports
Addressing journalists at its headquarters in Umuahia, the Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Uchenna Obigwe said the protest was borne out of the obnoxious policies of some state governments and non-payment of salaries and allowances. He said the recent policy of the Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha that makes it mandatory for civil servants to work for three days and spend two days in the farm was alien to the constitution. He said this unfriendly policy was unacceptable would be resisted.
On non-payment of salaries to workers, Obigwe said civil servants in Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the state are owed three months including August, while their counterparts in parastatals are owed between six to eleven months.
The NLC chairman also spoke on non-payment of pension and gratuity to retired civil servants.
Comrade Obigwe said after an emergency meeting between the leadership of labour and the Federal Government in Abuja, it was agreed that states who owe workers salaries from three months and above are to be given a date to pay the workers or the affected states should be shut down by the union.
Also the speaker of the Abia State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Martins Azubuike, while addressing the protesters at the Abia State House of Assembly complex promised that the wages due them would be paid
Some of the protesters spoke to Mcl news and said another purpose of embarking on the protest was to register their grievance on the killing of two workers in Nasarawa State by a police officer while protesting against the non-payment of workers salary in the state.
They called on state governments across the state to take the welfare of workers in their states seriously as they are the golden chicken that lay the golden eggs.
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