Workers in Adamawa state have used the May Day celebration to reject an anti-labour bill which has passed its second reading in the state House of Assembly.
The workers called on the state government to ask the law makers to back down from enacting into law the bill which totally bans traffic warders, health workers, internal revenue service and fire service from participating in any industrial action.
In a joint address delivered by both the leaders of Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Dauda Maina, and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Musa Abbas Kiri, at the Ribadu Square Yola venue of the May Day celebration, the unions condemned in strong terms the anti- union bill before the state legislature.
According to them, the bill, sponsored by the member representing Maiha constituency, Hassan Kaigama, wants to make it unlawful for some listed employees to engage, organise, or take part in any strike or lockout prior to the decision of the National Industrial Court.
The union leaders in their address called on the members of the state legislature to stop further consideration of the “obnoxious” bill as a matter of necessity, since labour matters are under the exclusive list of the National Assembly.
The workers lauded the state government’s efforts in reducing unemployment in the state through mass employment of unemployed graduates and its review of the scheme of service, providing for a new consolidated salary structure as well as the implementation of the N18,000 minimum wage for workers in the state.
However, the organized labour did not miss the opportunity of the workers day celebration in making a passionate appeal to the government to consider its plight and accordingly ensure the payment of its outstanding salaries for September and October of 2011 and the payment of the arrears of N18,000.00 wage of local government employees in the state.
Others include the implementation of the already approved weigh-in allowance to media and cultural workers in the state as well as upward review of the monthly allocation to the state pension board to enable quick disbursement of benefits to retirees and pensioners.
Bala Nggilari, the deputy governor who represented the governor, promised to convey labour’s demands to the governor for action and used the occasion to announce the approval of the government’s implementation of agreement reached with tertiary institutions in the state.
However, Usman Ndibal, an official of the Federal Ministry Labour, urged organised labour to consider other dispute resolution mechanism, as opposed to confrontation.
He said the ministry was willing to partner with organised labour at the State and Local Governments levels to find ways of addressing common issues of concern through dialogue before embarking on industrial action.