The Kogi State council of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) yesterday condemned the decision of the State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello to extend the 30-day compulsory leave earlier issued to permanent secretaries and other categories of state workers.
The Kogi TUC Chairman, Ranti Ojo, who addressed a press conference in Lokoja, the state capital yesterday, said the decision of government to extend the compulsory leave by another 30 days without stating the offences committed by the affected workers, is tantamount to ‘witch hunt’ and negation of the civil service rules.
“We were taken aback by another circular no: HCS/KGS/CIR/3/VOL.V/542 dated 15th March 2016 titled: ‘Re: Urgent Directives from the Executive Governor for another 30 days compulsory leave’ granted to our members in the service of Kogi State even when none of them has actually been accused and/ or found guilty of any gross misconduct.
“This current action is tantamount to a witch hunt and a negation of civil service rules and regulations governing the conditions of service of our members in the state. The TUC Kogi State is demanding for immediate withdrawal of this circular to allow peaceful industrial harmony to prevail in the state”, he said.
Mr. Ojo said while the organised labour is in support of the ongoing workers’ verification aimed at blocking leakages in the state resources, it would not compromise the wellbeing of its members through the non-payment of their over four months salary arrears.
“The TUC therefore calls on the state government to commence without further delay, payment of accumulated salary arrears of as our members are dying of hunger and avoidable sicknesses daily”, he said.
The Kogi TUC boss also expressed concern over alleged plot by the state government to reduce its workforce by 40%.