Protesting PLHA Workers Lock Out Legislators


Members of the Plateau State House of Assembly (PLHA) were locked out of their  offices on Thursday by workers of the Assembly, protesting non-payment of their  dressing allowances.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the protesting workers, who resumed  work after the Sallah festivities, wearing mournful looks and clad in black dresses  to demonstrate their plights, began a sit-down strike, locking all entrances to the  Assembly Complex.

“No one should blame us for going this far, we are left with no option,’’ Mr. Jack  Bature, the Chairman of the PLHA workers told NAN.

Bature said that the authorities had pushed the workers to the wall, leaving them  with no option.

“They (authorities) have been deceiving us with endless promises over the payment of  the dressing allowances since January.

“When we protested two weeks ago, they promised to pay us on Friday Nov. 12. That  day had since passed,’’ he said.

But a miffed Speaker of the Plateau House of Assembly, Mr. Istifanus Mwansat,  debunked the claims of the workers, describing their action as “unfortunate and  illegal.’’

“A work-to-rule action, by labour law, does not give them the right to lock up the  gates against legislators and others who want to do their legitimate work.

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“I think the workers are taking this issue too far. In fact, no one is even certain  if what they are fighting for is legitimate.

“The year 2010 has not ended, so I wonder why the workers should embark on such a  protest, I bet you that it will do no one any good.’’

The Speaker, who described the workers’ action as condemnable,’’stated that efforts  were being made to address their plight.

“We are already doing something about their complaints but we cannot continue such  efforts if the gates are locked,’’ he said.

“We were elected by the people of Plateau State to represent them and I wonder why  they (workers) should obstruct our functions.’’

The Clerk of the House, Mrs. Helen Chindusu, who also reacted, said that discussion  had “commenced in earnest towards solving the problem’’.

Chindusu appealed to the striking workers to consider the good working relationship  they had enjoyed over the years and give room for more dialogue. (NAN)

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