A cross section of workers at the 2024 worker’s day celebration in Plateau State.

By Marie-Therese Nanlong

Jos – As the workers in Plateau State join their counterparts the world over to celebrate the 2024 Labour Day, they have asked that for the autonomy of the local government Councils to enable the third tier of government to deliver the dividend of democracy as expected.

The workers also warned that they will no more accept differential salary structures between the State and Local Government workers in the State.

The State Chairmen of the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, Eugene Manji, and that of the Trade Union Congress, TUC, Kenneth Shammah addressed the workers and key government officials who gathered at the Rwang Pam Township Stadium, Jos to celebrate the Day and lamented the harsh economic policies which have brought untold on Nigerians.

This is as the State Governor, Caleb Mutfwang commended the workers resilience and assured them of his commitment to their welfare.

Manji said, “… The poor in Nigeria are fast being choked and strangled unnoticed by the very bad policies of our leaders while workers and citizens are requested to be patient with the government. We are asked to farm, workers have not been provided with fertiliser and other farm inputs. Even the recent fertiliser that was shared by the Government of Plateau State, workers were denied access to the inputs leaving questions whether the government wants workers to truly engage in farming to complement their lean salary that does not take them home…

“As workers, we want to place on record that we will no longer accept differential salary structures in Plateau State between State and Local Government workers in the New Minimum wage arrangement. We call on the Plateau State Government and the 17 Local Government Councils to conclude the payment of the wage Award recently agreed upon to all workers without further delay.”

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Shammah added, “… While we applaud Governor Mutfwang’s decision to pay workers gratuity from 1986 to date, it should be on record that retired Local Government workers have approached the National Industrial Court for the enforcement of the payment of their gratuity. This case should not be allowed to hang in the Court as it will not do anyone any good, rather, an amicable resolution should be pushed until the goal is achieved.”

However, the Governor, represented by the State Head of Service, Rauta Dakok noted, “I am deeply appreciative of your constant support and collaboration since the beginning of my administration. Today, we salute our diligent workers, the architects and artisans of our society, whose relentless efforts continue to mold our state. From the dynamic factories to the bountiful fields, and within every office, the fruits of your labour are abundantly clear.

“Despite the significant contributions of workers to nation-building, it is undeniable that many face substantial challenges in their workplaces. Issues such as exploitation, unsafe working conditions, and lack of access to essential benefits are prevalent. In view of the economic turbulence following the removal of the Petroleum subsidy, my administration has taken decisive steps to alleviate the impact and ensure that the welfare of our citizens remains a top priority. We are committed to forging a future where every worker is treated with the utmost dignity, respect, and fairness…”

The theme of this year’s International Workers’ Day, is “People First,” and affiliates of the two umbrella Unions took part in a march pass.



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