From Noah Ocheni, Lokoja
The Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Kogi Chapter, Comerade Onu Edoka on Friday in Lokoja called for joint efforts of government at all levels and non-government organizations in the battle against COVID-19 in the state and the country at large.
Onu Edoka who made the call during the celebration of this year’s May-Day in Lokoja, the state capital also called on the state government to recruit more health personnel as well as provision of adequate health facilities for the health professionals and institutions in the state in order to be fully prepared to curtail any outbreak of diseases.
The NLC Chairman however, admonished citizens of the state to adhere strictly to the guidelines laid down by WHO, NCDC and Government at all levels in mitigating the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
Edoka in his May Day Speech with this year’s theme, “60 years of Nationhood: Insecurity, Wage, Poverty and the Future of Work in Nigeria” expressed gratitude to God and Kogi state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello for the peace, security and COVID-19 free atmosphere currently existing in the state.
He promised to sustain the prevailing cordial relationship between the government and labour in the state.
The Labour leader said, “We have a challenge in our hands over April 2020 salary which we are currently dialoguing and we do hope that the workers will not be changed in any form.”
“We pray for fair deal from the state government. However Organised Labour will henceforth not entertain any justification for salary reduction especially at local government and Primary School levels.”
Edoka regretted that workers could not celebrate this year’s May Day with fanfare as a result of the prevailing global and national emergency occasioned by COVID-19 which compeled them to make painful sacrifices to preserve their health and that of their families.
The NLC Boss commended the Kogi state government for living up to its responsibility in ensuring regular payment of monthly salaries to its workers just as he also appealed to government to off-set salary arrears, annual increments , annual leave bouses owed to workers and the cash-backing of their promotions.
The chairman who thanked Governor Bello for setting up the Committee for the implementation of the new minimum wage, noted that the duration allotted for the exercise has since elapsed without any meaningful result.
Edoka further appealed to Governor Bello to lift the embargo placed on Trade Unions activities at all the state owned Tertiary Institutions that have lasted for four years.
He appreciated the organized labour doggedness, preservation and patience exhibited by the Chairmen and Secretaries of the various Industrial Unions in the struggle for workers welfare in the state.