Lafia - The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Nasarawa State on Monday embarked on an indefinite strike over the state government’s alleged failure to address the workers' welfare.
The NLC Chairman, Asoloko Maku, told newsmen on Monday in Lafia that the congress issued a 14-day ultimatum to the state government to address workers' promotion, increment, arrears, among others.
"We will go ahead with the strike since the government refused to implement all outstanding promotions of workers, but has approved only promotions from 2012,” he said.
On the arrears of minimum wage, Maku said the union had given the state government enough time, but had not addressed the issue.
Maku said the state government entered into an agreement with the union to pay the four-month arrears of minimum wage from November 2011.
"Having waited for the state government for so long and the expiration of the 14-day ultimatum, the union resolved to embark on an indefinite strike to press home its demand,” he said.
Maku directed all workers to remain at home while offices were locked, pending positive response from the government.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that all government Ministries and Agencies in Lafia were locked.
NAN reports that the union had on December 23, issued a 14-day ultimatum to the state government to address workers' welfare or face indefinite strike.
Meanwhile, Governor Umaru Al-Makura, has described the strike as unfortunate, saying that the action is inimical to the economic interest and development of the state.
Al-Makura spoke at the inauguration of members of some boards and governing councils of tertiary institutions in Lafia.
He noted that most of the demands of the workers had been addressed with the labour leaders.
On the issue of the biometric verification of workers, the governor said it was wrong for the union to oppose the exercise meant to bring sanity into the state's civil service.
"We feel the only way we can prudently utilise the state resources is to ensure that whoever is being paid salary from the state coffers is a bonafide worker," Al-Makura said.
He noted that the state government had demonstrated commitment to the welfare of its workforce through the implementation of the national minimum and increment of salaries across all cadre.
Al-Makura said public officers and government appointees in the state constituted less than one per cent of the state's population and yet consumed over 95 per cent of the state resources.
According to him, this situation is unacceptable and must be reversed for the general progress of the state.
He appealed to NLC to reconsider its stand, adding that "government will continue to dialogue with labour to make them see the justification for certain government actions".