Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has urged the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, to ensure that the payment of arrears of workers’ terminal benefits were no longer delayed.
A letter signed by the NLC President Ayuba Wabba, the labour movement said the governor should allow his generosity to also impact on the lives of the retirees.
In the letter titled: ‘Complaint by Rivers State Workers Against the Inhumane Disposition of the Rivers State Government to the Plight of Public Workers and Pensioners in Rivers State’, NLC appealed to the governor to implement the resolutions in the Tripartite Committee Report so as to restore industrial peace in Rivers State.
He said that NLC was worried at the continued failure of Rivers State to pay the terminal benefits of retirees for the past seven years despite the viability of Rivers State which is at par with Lagos State as Nigeria’s most financially solvent states.
He said, “Your Excellency, it is regrettable that nearly two years after reaching a Collective Bargaining Agreement with Rivers State workers and pensioners, the State Government has reneged on the following commitments:
Non-promotion of civil servants eligible for promotion since 2012.
“Non-payment of salaries arrears to civil servants not paid February and March 2016 salaries due to the aborted 2016 biometric verification
“Non-harmonisation of Pension for state retirees.
“Non-payment of pension arrears, gratuities and death benefits to retirees in Rivers thus exposing them to unimaginable pains and trauma.
“Non-implementation of pension incremental rates; and Non-implementation of annual salary increment for state workers.”
Wabba recalled the looming threat of industrial crisis in the state which was arrested owing to the last-minute decision of the governor to interface with the leadership of Organised Labour in Nigeria and resolve all the outstanding issues bothering on workers’ and pensioners’ welfare.
“The planned mass action and industrial shutdown of Rivers State was averted,” he said.