Labour Strike: An Appeal For Dialogue

By Yusufu Shehu Usman

In order to sustain the industrial peace and harmony that has prevailed in the state since Gov AA Sule assumed Office, the govt and Labour should dialogue and resolve the issues in dispute between them amicably through fruitful negotiation
There is no need for hard or desperate measures from either side
The Government of AA Sule has enjoyed the support and cooperation of workers through it’s proactive and sincere approach to worker’s welfare and the Labour from the various reports I have read, has appreciated the genuine determination of the Government to resolve the lingering issues affecting the welfare of the workers, especially with regard to the restoration of the payment of full salaries (and Pension) of workers as and when due
The Government has also shown genuine determination to address the issue of outstanding promotion by setting up a Committee which worked assiduously to resolve the issues to the satisfaction of both parties
The bone of contention between Labour and the Government now, is the implementation of the recommendations of the Committee
I believe this can be achieved through mutual understanding by both parties
The Labour should appreciate the fact that the issue of outstanding promotion came about as a result of protracted neglect by previous Administrations which have not implemented promotions in the core civil service for more than a decade.
The current administration of AA Sule actually inherited the accumulated debts and since it has shown a genuine desire to resolve it, it is my considered opinion that the Labour should give the Government the benefit of the doubt
And on it’s part, the government should take appropriate steps to match it’s words with positive action
The areas of dispute are narrowed down and can be resolved by negotiation
I advice that the government should invite the striking workers to the negotiation table and engage the labour on their grievances
For obvious reasons, It may not be feasible to meet all their demands at once but I am sure that the Labour too will not be averse to a phased implementation of the promotion benefits, since they are aware it’s a problem that accumulated over time
If the parties submit to dialogue, they can reach an agreement on how the payment should be structured
The important thing is for the government to show commitment by keeping to the terms of the negotiation once an agreement has been reached
The Government will always need the labour and the Labour will always need the government and the people need both the labour and the Government to work in synergy for peace and developmnt to take roots in the state
It’s a permanent relationship and should therefore be managed with tact, diplomacy and sincerity of purpose
I believe the Labour and Government in Nasarawa State can resolve these issues among themselves, even without the intervention of a third party or the courts
In conclusion, I advice the Government to invite Labour to negotiation, so that the issues may be resolved and normal delivery of services to the people may be restored

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