Less than two weeks after downing tools to protest non-payment of their salaries by the state government, workers in Benue state have suspended the strike action.
Government’s promise: In a communique on Tuesday night, jointly signed by the state chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Godwin Anya and his Trade Union Congress counterpart, Ordue Tertenger, the decision to call off the industrial action was reached after the state government undertook to pay the workers two months salary arrears before Friday.
“The strike will be suspended on Wednesday, October 11, 2017; government undertakes to source for funds and pay two months arrears between Thursday, October 12 and Friday, October 13, 2017.”
Compromise: The workers had initially insisted on payment of at least five months salaries before they would return to work. However, with the intervention of the national leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress and the state House of Assembly, it appears a compromise has been reached.
Going forward: The state governor, Samuel Ortom had blamed the state’s inability to pay its workers on its poor financial status. On how to prevent a repeat of the debacle, the communique stated that the government has promised “to exercise fiscal discipline, control its overheads, mop up all areas of leakages as well as increase its Internally Generated Revenue to be able to ensure regular patent of monthly salaries.”
“Both parties shall continue to dialogue on all issues or matter affecting the welfare of workers and pensioners in the state,” it added.