PLATEAU: TEARS TRAIL LOCAL GOVT WORKERS’ PROTEST

By: Valentine Adese (JP),

As the protesting Local Government Workers in Plateau State make do their threat of continuing with their protest and demanding for the implementation of the Thirty Thousand Minimum Wage (N30, 000) in at that the Local Government level, they were visited with tear gas shoot by security operatives in the state.

The Plateau State Government, following the affront of the protesting workers to continue blocking the entrance to the J. D. Gomwalk State Secretariat yesterday, also made do its resolve, as stated in the resolutions of the State Executive Council (EXCO) in December, 2020, to resist the workers.

REALITY gathered that, the workers were crying and wailing, as they were tear gassed by, Security operatives made up of the Military, Police and other paramilitary organizations.

As at the time of putting up this report, dozens of the protesting workers have been arrested and taken to a Magistrate Court, with no charge yet.

You would recall that, the Plateau State Government in its last Executive Council meeting for 2020 explained that, the State Government has no hands in the handling of local government affairs in the state and that, Labour should direct its grievances and demands to the Chairmen of their respective Local Governments, who also double, as their employers.

The Plateau State EXCO in a press statement dated the 31st of December, 2020 and signed by Dr. Makut, the Director of Press to the Plateau state Governor, the Exco resolved that:

“On the implementation of the new minimum wage at the Local Government level, Council frowned at the way Local Govt Staff have resorted to intimidating, blackmailing and threatening the State Government over the wages of another tier of Government.

“The Council reaffirmed that, it is the sole responsibility of the Local Governments to hire, fire, remunerate and discipline their employees based on their terms.

“The Council advised Local Government Chairmen to take responsibility of negotiating with their staff now that they are fully autonomous.

“Council frowned at the manner the Local Government workers have taken for granted the magnanimity and benevolence of the Governor to intervene in the negotiations by not only turning down various options to resolve the matter, but going ahead to blackmail the Governor and other State Government officials”.

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