By Dave Okpogadie, Asaba
Plantation and farm owners who withhold salaries of their staff or subject workers to inhuman treatment will henceforth be tackled by the Delta State government.
The state governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa disclosed this in Asaba while addressing members of the National Union of Agriculture and Allied Employees (NUAAE) during their meeting with the theme, “Save Nigerian Workers From Modern Day Slavery”.
He directed marginalized rubber and plantation workers to forward the names of their employers and their companies for onward action.
Represented by his special adviser on Servicom and Labour, Mr. Mike Okeme, the governor said, “I want to assure you that salaries, cooperative, union dues, welfare dues and all deductions made from salaries are part of salary and so, no plantation owner can seize part of your salary, especially those from cooperatives”.
He ordered, “Any such plantations that have seized your wages, please write their names and the company with a view to giving them a marching order within this week and next week and we will also involve the ministry of Agriculture to make sure that these orders are complied with.”
The governor said solutions are found when issues are brought out to the public domain.
Earlier in her presentation, the senior program officer, Solidarity Center-AFL-CIO (SC), Nkechi Odinukwe, had told the governor that rubber and plantation workers suffer from poor working conditions with lack of schools, hospitals and other basic social amenities.
She said the workers also suffer from poor salary, deductions while contributions due them from the cooperatives are not given to them.
Chairman of the occasion and state vice chairman Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Okwudi Osita Zico and NUAAE state chairman, Gbemudu Pamela Ifeoma decried the poor working condition and called on members to be resolute and unrelenting.
Members later embarked on a sensitization walk around Asaba