Staff of 17 local government councils in Enugu State may down tools any moment from now, to protest five months of unpaid salary arrears.
Commenting on the situation, Comrade Theo Obasiani, secretary, Joint Action Committee of Trade Unions, JACTU, said the workers have had to put up with flimsy excuses from their council helms men.
“There’s no month they don’t collect their allocations and still spend the money on irrelevances, including women and drinks.
“The situation is very pathetic. It is like a man coming home drunk and telling his starving wife and children there’s no money for food, but out there he has been feasting on champagne and fresh fish.”
He also said that as soon as the state labour council received official complaint from the National Union of Local Government Employees, NULGE, appropriate measures would be embarked upon to keep the council chairmen in line.
Just yesterday, the Nsukka Local Government branch of NULG aborted their scheduled independent show down with their own council chairman, Mr Charles Ugwu.
The union members had decided to down tools and take to the streets Thursday morning; but following a last minute truce reached with the council boss, the workers agreed to delay actions for a few more days.
In the interim, Mr Ugwu, the council boss, would pay two or three months salaries, part of the five months arrears to each worker.
NULGE chairman in the council, Mr John Ngwu accepted the terms on behalf of the workers in the presence of other members of NULGE executive committee and some other workers of the LGA and then ordered the workers to shelve their protests.
The council chairman was given one week from yesterday to keep his promise or the workers would go ahead with their planned protest.
“We believe the chairman is a gentleman and he will live up to his promise. We will continue with the protest if he behaves like some politicians who mean what they say but say what they don’t mean just o have their way,” Ngwu warned.
“His comment and body language during the meeting shows he is not comfortable owing workers but the problem was due to the dwindling monthly federal allocation to the local government as well as the oversized number of primary school teachers in the council,” he said.
The NULGE chairman said it had not been easy for council workers in the past five months they have not received any salary.


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