Protesting workers of Pankshin Local Government Area of Plateau State on Thursday locked up the Council Secretariat against the management over non-payment of salaries.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Council workers are being owed three months salary (March, April and May), hence their resolve to padlock the gate in early hours of Thursday.
Simwal Panzak, Chairman, Council’s National Union of Local Government Employees, explained that the protest was informed by the non-payment of workers salary for up to three months.
Panzak said: “The management had on Wednesday hinted that it could only pay one month salary out of the three months, a decision 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 management staff that we as LG workers are not happy with the situation on ground, where our dues are not being paid to us.”
Panzak disclosed that the protesters took the decision when they heard that the State Governor, Simon Lalong, was coming into the LGA on Thursday to commission the renovated office of Council Chairman, John Damap.
Responding, Damap said the delay in payment of the three months salaries was not deliberate but unfortunately informed by shortfalls in the LG’s monthly subventions.
He said: “What comes in as monthly subvention is not enough to cater for our monthly wage bill.
“This situation we found ourselves in is so disturbing and painful considering what our staff are passing through.
“We have decided to pay one month out of the three months back log from March to May, but unfortunately the workers are saying no insisting that the three months or two months must be paid to them.
“That is the main reason the workers staged the protest and barricade the gate to our Secretariat today (Thursday).”
According to him, the management will continue to dialogue with the Aggrieved Council workers to let understand the situation on ground and bear with them and stop the protest which has crippled activities in the Council.