Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Benue State Council, has said it voted Governor Samuel Ortom for a second term because he best understands the issues of unpaid salaries in the state.
Chairman of the Council, Godwin Anya, who disclosed this during his speech to mark Workers’ day in Makurdi on Wednesday explained that it would also be easier to tackle the issue of unpaid salaries with the Ortom administration rather than another government.
He argued that now that labour has fulfilled it part of the bargain by voting the Governor, it has become necessary for him to also fulfill his part of the social contract by paying workers their unpaid emoluments.
Anya said, “Recall your Excellency that during the period of campaigns, you visited the Labour House and solicited for the support of Benue workers in your quest for the reelection bid.
“I wish to officially inform you that Benue workers accepted your appeal and voted massively for you; that is why today you have been returned.
“The reason why we voted for you was simple and that you are the one who is owing us and you understand the issues on ground, therefore, we are convinced that it will be easier tackling these issues with your administration.
“Your Excellency, let me remind you that we have kept our own part of the bargain of that social contract in which you entered with us through a ‘gentlemen agreement,’ and it’s now left for you to also keep your side of the deal by paying us everything that you are owing us.”
He however pointed out that since both government and labour were in a celebration mood, soon after his inauguration, there would be need for both to sit together and find lasting solutions to issues bordering on the welfare of workers.
The issues he said that labour would bring to the negotiation table include salary arrears of state and local government workers as well as primary school teachers; the new minimum wage; pensions and gratuity as well as 65 years retirement age of non-teaching staff in tertiary institutions among others.
Thus, Anya advised workers in the state to demonstrate more commitment, dedication and honesty in the discharge of their duties.