May Day:Abia NLC,TUC Insist On Wage Award Implementation

 

As the world marked the 2024 workers day celebration, workers in Abia state were not left out in the celebration, as they converged enmasse at the Umuahia Township Stadium to commemorate the May Day celebration.

The event which was coming at a time workers across the nation are faced with economic hardship with concomitant hike in the prices of commodities, due to the removal of fuel subsidy, had the chairman of the Abia State Council of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Okoro Ogbonnaya, insisting on the Abia State government to implement the wage award to help cushion the effects of the ravaging hardship.

Delivering his speech on the theme for the celebration,”People First”, the Abia NLC chairman,said its imperative for the Abia government to add extra pay to workers salaries,so they can join their colleagues in other states to enjoy the award.

According to him, the Federal Government in it’s bid to ameliorate the sufferings of workers, had approved a wage award and while other states in the Federation had since complied with the implementation,Abia was yet to implement.

He insisted that the delay in the implementation of the wage award is nolonger putting smiles on the workers, therefore, the need for the government to comply,if truly they take workers’ welfare seriously.

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The Abia NLC chairman, also seized the opportunity to call on the government to visit backlog of salaries owned some parastatals in the state, as well as, unpaid gratuities and Leave Allowances.

He, however, highlighted some of the challenges facing workers in the state, while applauding the Governor for the unprecedented growth recorded in the state since he assumed office. He added that most dilapidated structures in the state are already wearing a new look.

Emphasizing on the 2024 theme,”People First”, the Union boss,noted that the People First culture is the secret sauce to create and execute a successful, feasible and sustainable business strategy, adding that a healthy workforce,where workers are treated first,is the pillar that holds and sustains democracy and socio economic revival.

He further called for a robust relationship between Organized Labour and the government,to reduce friction and improve productivity.

Also, the Chairman of the Trade Union Congress,Abia State Council, Comrade Ihechi Enogwe, disclosed some of the challenges facing the Abia workforce to include, non promotional of staff, salary arrears,delay in the implementation of wage award/ national minimum wage, among others.

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Enogwe disclosed that the nation is passing through dire times and the only way out is for the delicate chord for our survival and togetherness as a people be sustained, calling for the resilience of workers in Nigeria and the implementation of wage award, saying that the TUC would be unhappy with any government that shy away from it.

In an interview with some union heads, the Abia state chairman of Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), Chief Nnamdi Balogu(Choppy), congratulated Abia Workers on the auspicious occasion, commending the Governor for making the 2024 May Day celebration a remarkable one through his giant strides in the state as exemplified in massive road construction and improved welfare conditions of workers.

RTEAN Chairman,Chief Nnamdi Balogu

The Abia Chairman of National Association of Herbal Medicine Employers,Dr Paul Maduako and his counterpart, the Abia state chairman of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas(NUPENG), Comrade Ugwueze Francis Chukwuma,as well as the State Secretary of Nigerian Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Comrade Kalu Lazarus, lauded the leadership sagacity of the incumbent Governor, Dr Alex Otti, for repositioning the state in terms of infrastructural development.

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Chairman of National Association of Herbal Medicine Employers,Dr Paul Maduako

According to them, massive road reconstruction are ongoing in the state, which has made for the smooth run of their union activities, especially for the unions that are into the transportation of passengers and commodities like petroleum products.

State Secretary of Nigerian Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Comrade Kalu Lazarus

The NUPENG head categorically stated that since the ongoing construction in the state, tanker explosions have become a thing of the past,adding that tankers conveying petroleum products nolonger skid off the road due to bad roads.

Abia state chairman of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas(NUPENG), Comrade Ugwueze Francis Chukwuma

 

By Okereke Kate, Charles Ogbonnaya