Kogi State workers to suspend strike

THE NEWSGHOST, NIGERIA – The labour union in Kogi has suspended its seven-week old strike with immediate effect following an agreement reached between the state government and the union.

The state government has promised to pay one month salary out of the twenty-two month arrears it owes the workers.

According to report, the announcement to call off the seven-week old strike was made in Lokoja on Friday, November 10, 2017, during an agreement-reaching meeting between representatives of the state government and the labour union.

Mr Simon Achuba, the deputy governor of the state, led the negotiating team of the state government, while Mr Onu Edoka, the state chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) led the labour union team.

The union had embarked on the indefinite strike since September 27, 2017, to protest unpaid salary and other unfulfilled demands from the state government.

The workers are to resume to work on Monday, November 13, 2017.

Edoka, in a statement, said the union decided to suspend the strike because they had been able to reach an agreement with government on some of their demands.

Edoka explained that, ‘The agreement was signed after much consultations by both parties to bring about lasting peace between the workers and government.’

The agreement reads in part:

‘That the controversial ‘clock-in and out’ policy will be test run for three months after which a final decision on its desirability will be taken.

‘That on no account would the machine be used to determine the payment of salaries to workers until the Committee of Government and Organized Labour adjudged the efficiency of the machine after the expiration of the three(3) months in February, 2018.’

‘That the payment of salary and pension to workers and pensioners respectively for the month of August 2017 would be full and comprehensive.’

‘All cases of arrears of salaries and pensions will be scheduled for payment as funds are available based on the understanding between Labour and Government.’

The labour union also demanded, in the agreement, that pardoned and omitted staff, and new retirees too, will be added to the payroll and paid their full salaries and pensions.

The union and the state government are said to have agreed to put in place the process for promotions from 2014 to 2017, while 2013 promotions will be released with immediate effect.

Achuba thanked the labour leaders for their understanding and said the government would continue to interact with them regularly.

The deputy governor commended Governor Yahaya Bello for creating the opportunity for the dispute to be resolved amicably.

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