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Labour

Union Boss Explains PH Port Dockworkers’ Salary

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The Chairman, Maritime
Workers Union of Nigeria, (MWUN), Dock Worker Branch, Port Harcourt District, Comrade Tony Wilson Nwokocha has cleared the air that no terminal operator at the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), Port Harcourt Port is owing any of its workers since January till date as being speculated in some quarters.
Nwokocha, who made the clarification in an interview with The Tide in his office in Port Harcourt on Tuesday said that it was not true that workers at Port Harcourt Port had not been paid by the terminal operators since January this year.
According to him, the terminal operators at Port Harcourt Port, which are BUA and PTOL have paid their workers up to date, and that if they are owing, it will be this month’s as they are still working in vessels while expecting their salaries every 15th of the month rather than month ends as applicable in other areas.
He disclosed that the only problem the workers had with the terminal operators was that the operators needed an update of their workforce for documentation, but some disgruntled persons who allegedly pose as their leaders refused the workers to collect and fill the forms for the update.
The union boss disclosed that they fought for the workers to be employed instead of being casuals, which was the essence of the forms, stressing that when the issue was being addressed in meetings, some of the workers claimed that they have already filed a suit in the law court, hence needless of collecting the forms.
Nwokocha further hinted that the case filed by a Human Right lawyer had not been heard since two years ago, while he had gone ahead to file another suit, pointing out that the lawyer and those who claimed to be their leaders are only extorting among from the poor workers as the case should have been given accelerated hearing.
He noted that forms for update and documentation is a company policy and there is nothing wrong with the terminal operators at Port Harcourt Port to carry out such exercise since they have the power to hire and fire, pointing out that the deadline for the forms has elapsed, the operators have closed the opportunity hence they now engaged only those that filled the forms.
The Port Harcourt District Dock Workers Branch chairman disclosed that in the suit, the aggrieved workers are demanding N35,400 salary which is not possible, as according to him, they work in tonnage and the condition reached with the operators was 70 per cent permanent staff and 30 per cent casuals.

 

Collins Barasimeye

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Labour

Labour Lauds Rivers Assembly Over Power Devolution

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The organised labour in Rivers State has commended the Rivers State House of Assembly for backing power devolution in the country.
Speaking to The Tide, the chairperson, Nigeria Labour Congress Comrade Beatrice Itubo explained that the decision of the members of the assembly is a step in the right direction and good for the unity and stability of the country.
Itubo added that the lawmakers should call for contributions and input of the key stakeholders before passing into law several bills in the House.
She stressed that allowing critical stakeholders to make input would strengthen the tenets of democracy in the state and indeed Nigeria as majority of the people would better appreciate the bills through dissemination from the stakeholders.
She enjoined the Assembly to reexamine the issue of the local government autonomy proposed by both chambers of the National Assembly, stressing that the congress strongly believe that granting autonomy to the local government councils in Nigeria would strengthen and deepen democracy in the country.
The NLC boss added that the organised labour would continue to mobilize its members to support the assembly to perform its constitutional legislative duties in the state.
She further explained that labour in the state is prepared to partner the assembly in its determination to address the plight of the workers in the state.
She added that the organised labour would continue to commend the state government in its efforts to deliver the dividends of democracy to the people.

 

Philip Okparaji

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Labour

Ex-NLC Boss Tasks FG On Minimum Wage

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A former President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Mr Abdulwaheed Omar has urged the Federal Government to always implement the law on regular review of the national minimum wage to promote national growth.
Omar gave the advice in an interview with newsmen in Abuja last Monday.
He said that the call for government to tackle the issue about minimum wage review had become important because of the delay in the implementation of the law.
According to him, the national minimum wage law prohibits employers from hiring workers for less than a given hourly, daily or monthly take home pay.
“The law was established to address issues faced by workers, I think the cause for review of the national minimum is welcomed; it is just that it is almost belated.
“The issue of minimum wage is an aspect of our law; it is now part of our law in Nigeria, so I did not even expect that it will take much time.
“In the first place, the law provides that the minimum wage should be reviewed every five years; the five years elapsed since 2015.
“So, I had expected that that very year government should have set up a tripartite committee then.
“It is not something that government should wait until NLC threatens to embark on strike before it sets up committee, it is about the law that should be respected,” Omar said.
He said although government had promised to review the national minimum wage by the third quarter of the year, it should put measures in place to sustain such and ensure effective implementation.
He said the N18, 000 minimum wage was long overdue for review and urged government to act promptly to improve the economic well-being of workers.

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Labour

PenCom Recovers N1.34bn Pension

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The National Pension Commission (PenCom) has recovered pension contributions and interest totalling N1.34billion from defaulting employers during the third quarter of 2017.
The Commission in its 2017 third quarter report posted on its website said it used 55 consultants as recovery agents to get back the outstanding pension contributions and penalties from the defaulting employers.
PenCom said the affected employers were issued with appropriate notice to remit the outstanding pension contributions.
“During the quarter, the sum of N1.34 billion was recovered, this brings the total recoveries made since inception of the Recovery Agents’ activities in 2012 to N13.58 billion,” it stated.
On Pension contributions within the period, it indicates that the total monthly pension contribution by contributors from the public and private sectors into their Retirement Saving Accounts (RSA) was N4.38 trillion.
This, it said showed an increase of N135.22 billion representing 3.18 per cent over the total contributions as at the end of the previous quarter.
According to the report, the aggregate total contribution shows that the public sector contributed 51.34 per cent, while the private sector contributed the remaining 48.64 per cent.
It, however, pointed out that during the quarter under review; the public sector contributed 40.87 per cent of the total contributions received while the private sector contributed 59.13 per cent.
It further revealed that the aggregate total pension contribution of the private sector increased from N2.05 trillion as at second quarter of 2017 to N2.13 trillion as at third quarter of 2017, representing a growth of 3.89 per cent.
Also, the aggregate total pension contribution by the public sector grew by 2.52 per cent from N2.20 trillion to N2.25 trillion over the same period.
The statement noted that the commission continued the ongoing refund of contributions made by military and other security service agencies personnel exempted from the contributory pension scheme.
It added that during the quarter under review, the department responsible for military pensions processed 254 applications for the refund.
PenCom said N39.83 million was refunded to the contributors while the sum of N127.13 million, representing contributions made by the Federal Government on their behalf was returned to the contributory pension account.
The statement also indicated that 27 state governments have enacted laws to implement the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) as at the third quarter of 2017, while eight states were currently in the process of implementing the CPS law.
The report revealed that Yobe was, however, yet to commence the process of enacting a law on the CPS.

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