May 23, 2024

Peculiarity allowance: We’re in talks with Bayelsa govt – NLC

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He said that the policy was a relief to temporary employees of Bayelsa Environmental Sanitation Authority, who had worked as casual staff for six years.

Nathan Tamarapreye, Yenagoa

The Bayelsa chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) says it is in dialogue with the Bayelsa government to improve the welfare of the workforce to cushion the impact of economic challenges.

Mr John Angese, Secretary of NLC in Bayelsa who spoke on behalf of the Chairman, Mr Simon Bernabas reacted to the 40 per cent allowance to federal government employees and applauded the gesture.

Angese, who spoke in an interview session on Thursday at the temporary secretariat of NLC in Yenagoa noted that the recently inaugurated NLC executive is making progress.

He explained that while Gov Douye Diri of Bayelsa had approved most of the welfare issues ranging from withheld promotion arrears to unpaid minimum wage arrears to some sectors, the NLC continues to ask for more.

He said that the NLC mentioned the issue of peculiarity allowance to federal workers to the Bayelsa government during the workers’ day celebration, and will intensify efforts to actualise it.

“As for the 40 per cent allowance given to federal government employees, we are not comfortable with offering the allowance as a palliative for subsidy removal.

“We have always held the view that domestic refining of petroleum products is the solution but for some reason, we have found ourselves in the quagmire with the three refineries.

“If the three refineries cannot be fixed, what will it cost to build new ones?

“Our economy is so dependent on petrol that once you remove subsidy, the hike in fuel prices will wipe off whatever pay rise even if it is 200 per cent,” Angese said.

According to him, the NLC remains opposed to tying the pay rise to the removal of fuel subsidies and will engage the government on its effect on workers.

He commended the Bayelsa government for the policy pronouncement against casualisation in the state workforce during the 2023 Workers’ Day.

He said that the policy was a relief to some temporary employees of Bayelsa Environmental Sanitation Authority who had worked as casual staff for six years and whose appointments are being regularised following Diri’s intervention.

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