Organised Labour suspends planned protest in Rivers

The planned protest by the Organised Labour slated for Tuesday in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, has been called off, following an eight-point agreement reached with the State Government on Monday night.

The meeting held at the Executive Council Chambers of the Government House was attended by national and state representatives of the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress.

The state government agreed to meet some of the demands of the workers while other issues would be addressed by the tripartite committee subsequently formed.

The eight agreement reached are, “Signing of an understanding on the new minimum wage. Parties have agreed to sign the agreement on the implementation of the new national minimum wage and consequential agreement.

“Unsealing of the State NLC secretariat. The NLC secretariat which was sealed for the correction will immediately be unsealed while the government continues with the correctional work if any.

“Payment of check-off dues. The Rivers State Government shall immediately restore the remittance of check-off dues and pay all outstanding arrears to the respective labour unions.

“Payment of outstanding health workers salaries. Rivers State Government commits to the payment of salaries withheld from health workers due to the 2017 strike action.

“Suspension of planned protest action. Organised labour agree to immediately suspend the planned protest scheduled for Tuesday 8th September 2020.

“Setting up of tripartite committee. Parties to set up a tripartite committee to discuss and resolve all other outstanding issues including (1) adjustment of pensions in line with the Constitution and (2) payment of pension and gratuity.

“Parties shall take step to discontinue all ongoing litigations in relation to the disputed matters.

“No worker will be victimised on account of his or her actions, and or involvement in the industrial dispute with the Rivers State Government,” it concluded.

Our correspondent, however, observed that though the issue of promotion was not contained in the agreement paper, it may be discussed during the tripartite committee meeting.

The agreement was co-signed on the part of the state by the Secretary to the Rivers State Government, Tammy Danagogo; the State Head of Service, Rufus Godwins; State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Paulinus Nsirim; and the Executive Assistant to the State Governor, Dr. Ayebaesin Beredugo.

On the side of labour, signatories to the agreement are, the Secretary-General of the NLC, Emmanuel Ugboaja; Secretary General of TUC, Musa Lawal; State NLC Chairman, Beatrice Itubo; her counterpart in the TUC, Austin Jonah; State TUC Secretary, Obi Fortune; and Chukwu Emecheta of LPSNC, Rivers State.

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