Pay workers’ salary arrears, Delta NLC tells FG

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The Delta State council of the Nigeria Labour Congress has called on the Federal Government to pay the over five years’ salaries and allowances it owed workers of the Delta Steel Company in Aladja, Delta State.

The leadership of the congress, led by its Chairman, Williams Akporeha, in a statement on Tuesday, said the call was made at a meeting with the new management of the DSC, Premium Steel and Mines Limited.

He urged the Federal Government to intervene in the endless buck-passing by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria and the Bureau for Public Enterprises, which had stalled the smooth commencement of operations by the new management and delayed the settlement of workers’ entitlement.

According to him, the attitude of the government agencies involved is unpatriotic.

The labour leader said, “Congress is very worried and it is sad that the DSC workers have become the sacrificial objects for the bureaucratic ritual between the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria and the Bureau for Public Enterprises.”

“At the moment, we have lost count of the workers that had died in the DSC as a result of the Federal Government’s attitude towards their welfare. It is about time to hold someone accountable for what is happening to the DSC and its workers.”

Akporeha decried a situation where government agencies had been a hindrance to the diversification efforts of the country.

“Several months after taking over, the new management of the DSC, Premium Steel and Mines Limited, has yet to commence operations and other activities that will enable them to clear the backlog of workers’ salaries and allowances due to endless protocols by government’s agencies involved,” he said.

Akporeha asked, “How can our nation ever attain sustainable economic diversification at this rate when bureaucratic bottlenecks in government agencies seem to slow down activities of investors while workers can’t get their pay?”

He expressed the hope that both the BPE and AMCON would resolve all outstanding labour-related issues to provide the enabling environment for the Premium Steel and Mines to immediately clear backlog of workers’ salaries.

Akporeha warned that the congress might be compelled to mobilise workers on industrial action in support of the DSC workers if the Federal Government failed to intervene.

According to him, the congress can no longer sit and watch the DSC workers transform from payroll to death toll.

Source: Punch Newpapers

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