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MAY DAY: EBONYI WORKERS BOO ELECHI

By NBF News
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By PETER OKUTU
ABAKALIKI- AGGRIEVED workers in Ebonyi State yesterday booed Governor Martin Elechi over non-implementation of the N18, 000 National Minimum wage in the state.

The workers, who were at the Abakaliki township stadium for the 2012 May Day rally, disrupted the governor when he stated that his administration had implemented the new wage, despite the socio-economic challenges facing the state.

Earlier, organised labour in the state also faulted the N18, 000 minimum wage structure put in place by the state government as prescribed by the Federal Government.

The union noted that the state government's structure, which was fraught with errors, was not a true reflection of the provision inherent in the National Minimum wage, even as it appealed to the government to look into the current minimum wage salary structure in the interest of workers.

In his address, the Acting Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Ebonyi State, Comrade Boniface Igweonwu, among other requests, enjoined the state government to pay the 67 months arrears of 142% increase in pensions for workers, adding that workers deserved improved welfare packages, considering their contributions to the development of the state.

He said: 'While we sincerely appreciate his Excellency's approval for the implementation of the 18,000 minimum wage in the state, it is necessary to inform your Excellency that the approved 18,000 structure is fraught with errors that need to be looked into with compassion.

'We passionately appeal to his Excellency, Chief Martin Elechi to kindly re-address the current minimum wage salary structure of Ebonyi State.

'We, therefore, request for the payment of 67 months arrears of 142% increase in pensions, establishment of state pension board and free medical care, and provision of office accommodation, official vehicle for the Nigeria Union of Pensioners to enable them run their Secretariat without much challenges, in view of the concomitants of old age.

'We wish to request your Excellency to direct the allocation of parcel of land already by the immediate past administration and which your administration revalidated in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 May Day celebrations.

'The councils have notified the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development of the government directives on the issue but up till now, no allocation has been made to that effect.'

The governor, who was represented by his Deputy, Engr. Dave Umahi, assured the workers that the government would look into their requests.

He called on them to remain supportive of government's programmes and policies adding that the projects carried out by the government were to ensure even development across the state.

The Governor who commended workers in the state for voting for him during the last general election, expressed optimism that the relationship between it and Organized Labour would remain a catalyst that would engender peace and stability in the state.

….Imo workers deride Okorocha's govt
By CHIDI NKWOPARA
OWERRI-The face-off between Imo State government and organised labour heightened yesterday as workers booed the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Prof Anthony Gozie Anwuka.

The SSG, who represented Governor Rochas Okorocha at the May Day rally, had hardly finished reading the letter addressed to the State Council of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, when workers started booing him.

The governor's letter merely promised that his administration was disposed to dialogue with labour to address the contentious issues raised by workers.

Addressing workers earlier, the State NLC Chairman, Comrade Reginald Anyadike,, condemned the vexatious fourth-tier government being planned by Okorocha's administration, as well as the commercialization of ministries, parastatals and agencies of government.

He lamented that over 3,000 local government workers had yet to receive  their salaries since January, courtesy of alleged inefficiency of the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.

The Imo labour boss was also irked that workers of Imo Newspapers Limited, publishers of The Statesman newspapers, were owed 17 months arrears of salaries, while primary school teachers had not been paid their leave allowances in the past four years.

'Labour in Imo State opts for dialogue in addressing  issues. We shall consult but we cannot be intimidated or blackmailed to submission. Staff of the Secondary Education Management Board will not move to any community,' Anyadike said.