The organised labour in Bayelsa State, has suspended its three days old strike over unpaid salaries and pension arrears.
Accordingly, the state secretariat, which houses the office of the Secretary to the State Government and the bulk of the ministries, came alive, yesterday, as the hitherto deserted complex recorded a large turnout of workers.
The decision to suspend the strike was reached after a marathon meeting involving representatives of the state government and leadership of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC and Trade Union Congress, TUC, as contained in a communiqué by Dr. Peter Singabele, (Head of Service), Obuebite Jonathan, (Commissioner for Information and Orientation), John Bipre Ndiomu, NLC Chairman and Tari Dounana, TUC Chairman. According to the communique read at the end of the meeting held in Yenagoa by NLC chairman, Ndiomu, labour accepted the position to pay 50 per cent of monthly salaries with effect from February 2016 and expects the government to effect full payment of workers’ salaries as soon as the allocation from the Federation Account accruing to the state improves.
The 50 per cent of salaries payable to workers, according to the organised labour, is not a downward review of workers’ salaries. The communique stated, “in line with the ongoing payment of January 2016 salaries to workers, government should facilitate the process of payment of salaries to the outstanding MDAs and parastatals, including pensioners without further delays.
“That a monthly meeting should be scheduled between labour and government, in order to have a joint review of the economic recovery of the state.
“In view of the state government’s policy on the payment of primary school teachers, labour should commence the process of negotiating with the Government on the way forward.
“That the Bayelsa State Government should negotiate with banks to suspend deductions arising from loans until the economy of the state improves or otherwise direct payment should be made to workers.”