By Victor Ahiuma-Young
ORGANISED Labour, yesterday, threatened to shut down Rivers State over unresolved issues, including un-remitted deductions from workers’ salaries under the Contributory Pension Scheme, CPS, stagnation of officers and non payment of statutory allowances to law officers.
Others are illegal recruitment and unlawful placement of staff at the Rivers State Internal Revenue Service, RIRS, refusal of the Head of Service to act on the N1million soft loan proposal by the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, FMBN, to individual contributors to the National Housing Fund, NHF and non-payment of union dues for the month of March 2015 and March 2016.
In a statement by Secretary-General of ASCSN, Alade Lawal, the association noted that unions in the state were also demanding that retired officers should vacate their offices in line with the Public Service Rules, urging the government to stops its alleged unfair labour practices if it wanted industrial peace.
ASCSN lamented that all efforts by the trade unions in Rivers State to bring the government to the negotiating table to address all festering labour matters, including the issuing of queries to labour leaders by the Rivers State Government had been treated with contempt.
“Instead of attending to these labour issues causing restiveness in the State Public Service, the Rivers State Government elected to introduce Contributory Health Programme which the generality of workers in Rivers State have rejected through properly constituted organs of Trade Unions in the state.”
ASCSN claimed that because the union leaders conveyed the decision of Rivers State workers to the government to the effect that they would not key into the Contributory Health Programme in view of the failure of the CPS where thousands of workers were not paid their entitlements two or three years after retirement and the woeful failure of the NHF where workers had not benefited from the scheme more than 20 years after it came into existence, the labour leaders were issued queries by the Head of Service and threatened with dismissal.
The body alleged that the Head of Service of Rivers State issued queries to the Chairman of Rivers State Council of Trade Union of Nigeria, TUC, Austine ThankGod, Chairman of Rivers State Council of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Beatrice Otubo and Chairman of Trade Union Side of the Joint Council, Chukwu Emechetta.