Workers in the employment of Taraba State Government under the auspices of the Joint Public Service Negotiating Council, JPSNC, on Thursday shut down the state secretariat in Jalingo to protest the non-payment of their salaries.
Addressing the workers, Peter Gambo, the State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, said the state government had continued to be insensitive to the plights of the workers.
Mr. Gambo said that they were protesting against other irregularities in the payment of salaries of workers and pensions of retirees in the state.
He said that local government workers and teachers had not been paid for eight months, pointing out that they had been subjected to untold hardship.
The chairman listed such irregularities as illegal deductions from salaries, and subjection of workers to meaningless screenings and futile verifications by the government.
Mr. Gambo also alleged that the union dues were deducted indiscriminately without being remitted to the respective accounts of the unions and that government had given no explanations for this.
“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 them to extreme hardships.
“The consultant has proven to be very incompetent in handling payment of salaries while the bank handling payment has clearly shown that it is confused. All these must stop now”, he said.
The state Head of Service, Samuel Angyu, addressing the protesters said that the state government was aware of the workers’ complaints and was already taking steps to address them.
Mr. Angyu appealed to the workers to end the protest and make way for “peaceful and civilized discussions on the way forward.”
The protesters carried placards that read: “One year of impunity and insensitivity must stop’’, “salary is a right not a privilege”, “Starter Up must go” and “pensioners have right to a dignified living.”
Footballers under the state’s employ, also besieged the Government House on Monday, to demand the payment of their 21 months’ salaries.