Workers in Taraba state under the auspices of the Joint Public Service Negotiating Council (JPSNC) in the early hours of today (Thursday) made real their threat and shut down the state secretariat in protest over non-payment of local government salaries and other irregularities in the payment of salaries and pension.
State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, (NLC) Mr. Peter Gambo, who addressed the protesting workers at the gate of the secretariat, decried government continued insensitivity to the plight of the workers in the state.
Gambo listed the issues in dispute to include illegal deductions from salaries, non payment of local government workers and teachers for eight months and subjection of workers to meaningless screenings and futile verification exercises by the government.
Gambo also alleged that union dues were deducted indiscriminately without been remitted to the respective unions and no explanations were given by the government.
“The government has shown that the welfare of workers in the state is not its priority.
“Workers have been subjected to all kinds of belittling treatments in the name of screening and verifications that have not yielded any fruits apart from subjecting workers to extreme hardships.
” The Starter Up consultant has proven to be very incompetence in handling payment of salaries while the UBA has clearly shown that they are confused, all these must stop and stop now”, he said.
Addressing the protesters, the Head of Service of the state, Mr. Samuel Angyu said government was aware of the complaints of the workers and was already putting measures in place to address their grievances.
Angyu further called on the workers to quit the protest and make way for “peaceful and civilized discussions on the way forward.
The protesters were carrying placards with inscriptions such as ” one year of impunity and insensitivity must stop”, “salary is a right not a privilege”, “Starter Up must go”, ” pensioners have right to a dignified living, not humiliation from the government they served” among others.
It could be recalled that the state government House was shut down on Monday by protesting footballers, who besieged the Government House gate, demanding payment of their 21 months owe salaries.