Ahead of the March 9 governorship poll, the Plateau State chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), has advised workers to vote only candidates that are workers-friendly.
Gunshin Yarlings, acting chairman of the NLC in the state, gave the advice on Monday in Jos, after an emergency State Executive Council meeting of the body.
“Candidates with the pedigree to take care of workers’ needs should be uppermost in our considerations.
“As we go into the House of Assembly and Governorship elections on Saturday, every worker has the right to vote whoever he or she wants, but we must remember to protect our interests,” he said.
The chairman stated that the NLC was merely re-echoing the directive of the National President of NLC, Ayuba Wabba, who had ordered that candidates’ attitude to workers’ welfare must be a prime consideration while deciding who to support.
He advised workers to conduct themselves peacefully before, during and after the elections, and avoid tendencies that could taint the process.
The acting NLC boss commended Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau for the prevailing industrial harmony since he became governor, and particularly lauded the withdrawal of a court case on “no work, no pay” instituted by his predecessor.
He thanked the governor for paying the four months salary arrears of workers that were withheld by the government when it insisted on implementing the ‘no work, no pay’.
Yarlings also lauded the governor for paying seven months’ salary arrears of workers and pension of retired civil servants.
“We are saying that those governors that are workers-friendly should be supported with your votes,” he said.
The acting chairman, however, said that there were still many challenges like the outstanding gratuities of retirees and the N18,000 minimum wage which had not been fully implemented in the state.
He expressed regret that local government workers still receive only 55 per cent of the wage which took effect more than five years ago.
“We are ready to support any candidate that will pay the N30,000 minimum wages we are clamouring for,” he declared.