9th September, 2011
The Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) on Thursday condemned the arrest of labour leaders in Enugu over plan to protest non-payment of the new minimum wage.
ASCSN Secretary-General, Solomon Onaghinon said in Lagos that NLC President Abdulwaheed Oma and TUC leader Peter Esele were among those allegedly detained by the state government.
â€œThe government should guard against anything that will incense the workers. It is not right to have held hostage any of the labour leaders.
â€œThe minimum wage issue affects all the states, it is not done in Enugu alone,â€ he said.
Onaghinon advised the government to settle issues with the workers and labour leaders in order to avoid chaos in the state.
Similarly, TUC in a statement warned that the arrest of the labour leaders could lead to crisis in Enugu.
The statement signed by Mr. John Kolawole, TUC General Secretary, said that it was wrong to suppress the rights of the workers.
It said the workers, led by Esele and Omar, were preparing for a peaceful rally when they were held hostage at the Gold Valley Hotel, New Haven, Enugu.
According to it, the workers plan a peaceful rally on Thursday over the state governmentâ€™s refusal to pay the N18,000 approved National Minimum Wage.
The TUC in the statement urged the Federal Government to caution state governments against anything that would destabilise democracy.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the NLC had given a 14-day ultimatum to the Enugu State Government to commence the payment of the new wage.
The ultimatum expired on September 7 after a three-day warning strike.
The rally was expected to be attended by civil servants, factory workers, electricity workers, road transport workers and civil society organisations.