Workers Are Society’s Backbone, Says Diri

Labour Honours Bayelsa Gov With Excellence, Peace Awards

Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has said workers remain the backbone of society for their invaluable contributions to socio-economic development.

Senator Diri stated this on Monday during this year’s Workers Day celebration at the Peace Park in Yenagoa.

The governor said the celebration was a reminder that alongside the government they collectively fight against poverty, poor healthcare, insecurity and underdevelopment.

According to a press release on Monday, 1st May 2023 signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Bayelsa State Governor, Daniel Alabrah, he said the Governor noted that as a former teacher and worker-friendly governor, his administration was in a better position to tackle the challenges that workers face.

His words: “The contributions that workers make to our families, communities, society and economy every day cannot be overlooked or understated.

“As we reflect on what it means to be a worker, this government is mindful of the fact that we owe you a collective debt of gratitude and acknowledge the fact that you remain the backbone of society; working tirelessly to provide for our loved ones and to build a better future for ourselves and those who come after us.

“When we say, “Aluta Continua!”, let us all remind ourselves of the things we are collectively fighting against and who our common enemies are. We are fighting against poverty, insecurity, underdevelopment, poor healthcare and poor infrastructure among others.

“As a teacher, it is no fluke that I am known as the workers’ friend and run a labour-friendly government. There is no doubt that the aspirations of labour are best realised under a responsive and responsible government. I want to believe that in your Government of Prosperity, you have found a faithful partner to fight these issues.”

Responding to several demands by the workers, the state’s helmsman directed that the promotions for 2021 and 2022 for local government workers be implemented immediately.

He directed the deputy governor to liaise with the councils and take the necessary action to ensure its implementation.

On the promotion arrears for the state’s tertiary institutions, he also directed the Head of Service and the Commissioner for Finance to work out modalities for payment of the 2015 and 2017 arrears.

To demonstrate his administration’s commitment to the welfare of pensioners, he assured that a special committee would be set up and chaired by the Secretary to the State Government to resolve the issue of the implementation of the N30,000 minimum wage.

The governor also directed the Head of Service to ascertain why his directive on call-duty and hazard allowances had not been effected and ensure its immediate implementation.

In a joint address by the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC), presented by the NLC Chairman, Comrade Simon Barnabas, the workers appreciated the Diri administration for its worker-friendly policies.

They particularly lauded the governor for payment of the minimum wage in line with the circular released by the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission as well as for prompt payment of workers’ monthly salaries.

The entire workforce honoured Senator Diri with an Award of Excellence and Platinum Peace Award for the promotion of peace and workers’ welfare.

Presenting their demands, they requested the implementation of the promotion of 2022 for state government workers, and payment of promotion arrears in batches for mainstream civil servants from 2015 to 2017, among others.