Plateau council workers protest unpaid salaries

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Aggrieved members of staff of Pankshin Local Government Area of Plateau State on Thursday locked up the council secretariat against the management over non-payment of salaries.

 It was reported that the council workers are being owed three months’ salary (March, April and May) hence their resolve to padlock the gate in the early hours of yesterday.

Already activities at the council have been brought to a halt as no visitor, members of management staff or any worker was allowed to enter the secretariat or office to work.

Mr Simwal Panzak, Chairman, Council’s National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), explained that the protest was triggered by the non-payment of workers’ salary for up to three months.

“The management had, on Wednesday, hinted that it could only pay one month salary out of the three months, a decision that didn’t go down well with our colleagues.

“The barricade of the secretariat gate was a sheet message sent to the council Chairman and other members of management staff that we as LG workers are not happy with the situation on the ground, where our dues are not being paid to us,” he explained.

Panzak disclosed that the protesters took the decision when they heard that Governor Simon Lalong was coming into LGA today (yesterday) to inaugurate the renovated office of Council Chairman, Mr John Damap.

The Council Chairman Damap said the delay in payment of the three months’ salaries was not deliberate but occasioned by shortfalls in the LG’s monthly subventions.

“What comes in as monthly subvention is not enough to cater for our monthly wage bills. This situation we found ourselves in is so disturbing and painful considering what our members of staff are passing through.

“We have decided to pay one month out of the three months backlog from March to May, but unfortunately, the workers are saying no, insisting that the three months or two months must be paid to them,” he said.

According to him, the management will continue to dialogue with the aggrieved workers to let them understand the situation on the ground and bear with them and stop the protest which has crippled activities in the council.

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