John Ushie, chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Cross River State chapter says because of the prevailing economic circumstances, workers in the state deserve nothing less than N150, 000 (one hundred and fifty naira a month) as minimum wage if they are to be properly motivated and appropriately rewarded. “Those politicians in Abuja who earn big money and allowances, are no better than the workers in this state and we are tabling our demand and an ultimatum has been given government … watch out, if our demands are not met”
Ushie who made this exclusive disclosure in an interview with www.calitown.com as Labour in the state prepares for May Day, 2017 activities, added that if government does not work at reviewing upwards the minimum wage of long suffering workers in the state, Labour may be left with the option of an industrial action to push through this demand.
Confronted with information that certain persons saddled with pension payment responsibilities in the Cross River State Civil Service are forcefully taking percentages off the funds and pocketing same before remitting the remainder to beneficiaries, the chairman frowned at this unfortunate situation and heaped blames on government and especially the Cross River State Ministry of Finance, for not being transparent and also for refusing to work with Labour on the pension payment issue. He however promised that Labour will insist that no percentages be taken off payments as “this money is not paid to retirees for a jamboree, it is their sweat and nobody has the moral justification to make forced deductions. The Ministry of Finance maybe tacitly refusing to let the NLC be at the point of payment, but we will be there, I can assure you”.
Similarly, Trade Union Congress chairman, Cross River State, Clarkson Otu, says he does not expect state governor, Ben Ayade, to direct that salaries for the month of May be paid to civil servants on May Day, like he did last year. Otu says this singular action last year, made a lot of civil servants go through untold hardship as they had to wait till the end of June before salaries came. “I will expect that the governor will not do this kind of thing again. Salaries in all circumstances are paid at the end of the month in question and not before one has worked for the money, it is abnormal and I frown at this”, he said.
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