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Unpaid salaries: NLC faults Imo govt on proposed union’s proscription

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By Buchi Iwuji, Owerri

The national president, Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, has described as unacceptable the decision of Governor Hope Uzodimma to proscribe labour unionism in the state. He said such act would not be accepted by the NLC.

The state secretariat of the NLC in Owerri, Imo state was attacked by hoodlums on Monday and the state government quickly blamed a faction of the labour union in the state.

Chairman, NLC Imo State, Austin Chilakpu had announced that the workers in the state would proceed on strike for non-payment of workers’ salaries and pensions. The state government had described Chilakpu as an impostor.

Wabba who spoke at the 7th Quadrennial National Delegates’ Conference of the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives in Abuja, said the decision of the state government was an invitation to anarchy and disruption of industrial peace and harmony in the state.

Wabba said, “We have observed that a lot of anti-union activities, including direct attacks on workers fundamental rights have been going on lately. This is not acceptable to us. On Monday, we received sad information from Imo state.

“The information indicated that the state governor, Hope Uzodinma, who is supposed to be a democrat, proscribed labour unions in the state. He did not only proscribe the unions; he went ahead to constitute caretaker committee for all the unions.

“That’s undemocratic and unacceptable. The fundamental pillar of peace in the world after the first World War is International Labour Organisation Convention that was propagated in 1919.”

He appealed to workers in the state to remain calm and law-abiding, promising that the national headquarters of NLC in Abuja would take measures against the governor if he failed to reverse the decision.

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