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Bayelsa Workers Unfold Major Demands Ahead of May Day Celebration

 By Aaron Azi

Ahead of the 2023 May Day celebration across section of workers in Bayelsa state   says payment of backlog of promotion arrears owed them and implementation of annual salary increment were some of the major demands the state government should implement without further delay in order to enhance their living condition.

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Gov Douye Diri

The workers who spoke to Global Overseer Reporter in Yenagoa on condition of anonymity, described Senator Douye Diri as the best civil servant friendly governor since the state was created, and expressed hope that he would help them.

They recalled that the governor has lived up to his electioneering promises to civil servants, stating that, he noted civil servants constituted the engine room of governance globally and the need to prioritized their welfare top most in its planning as a government, Governor Diri while unveiling his manifesto at Ernest Ikoli Press Centre in Yenagoa, in 2019, had promised to accord high premium to the welfare of civil servants and retirees in his development agenda for the state.

According to them, it is enthusiastic to note that on assumption to office on February 14, 2020, the governor has lived up to expectation by implementing the payment of the new minimum wage, ensuring prompt payment of workers' salaries, pensions and gratuities to retirees.

The governor also paid weigh in arrears for media workers except the few journalists whose names were omitted during the exercise and a Memo for payment was allegedly forwarded to the governor pending payment. This weigh in issue, no doubt His Excellency will approved the release of the money for the beneficiaries.

The Governor during his One-year anniversary media briefing on February 13, 2021 had directed the Honourable Commissioner for Information to forward a Memo for this payment.

It would be recalled that Workers under the umbrella of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) have lauded the Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri for his friendly disposition to civil servants and called to sustain the tempo.

This commendation to the governor was contained in a joint address of both unions delivered at the Peace Park in Yenagoa, venue of the celebration.

State NLC Chairman as at then, Comrade Bipre John Ndiomu, praised the Governor for prompt payment of salaries and gratuity since his emergence as governor in February 2020.

He appreciated the governor for standing by workers during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic due to his pragmatic and people-oriented leadership style.

 Comrade Ndiomu described as heartwarming the readiness of Governor Diri to rise to the occasion whenever issues affecting workers were brought to him as demonstrated by the committees his government had set up to handle such issues.

The labour leader used the forum to present catalogue of worker's needs to Governor Diri for approval, particularly the payment of backlog of promotion arrears owed workers since 2015 to 2019, now 2023 in order to uplift their living conditions and restated the readiness of workers to constantly cooperate with government.

But the workers while praising the governor, complained bitterly over paucity of funds to meet up their needs and their children schools needs occasioned with the current inflation and high cost of living arising from high prices of essential food items among other essential wants to improve their living standard.

“The indebtedness by workers arising from 2016 economic recession, several civil servants are still paying debts,” they stated.

They recalled that the immediate past Governor had pledged to pay these backlog of promotion arrears on the occasion of the 2019 Workers Day Celebration at Peace Park in Yenagoa, lamenting that after all approvals, money was not released to effect the payment until they left office.

Speaking unanimously, they said “Our major expectation on this year's May Day celebration is for our workers friendly Governor, Senator Douye Diri whom we now stand behind for continuity in 2023 governorship poll, to help us pay the backlog of promotion arrears, minimum wage arrears as well as implementation of salary annual increment and payment of weigh in arrears to some media workers, stressing that they are very much happy with Governor Douye Diri's peoples-oriented administration.




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