The industrial dispute between the Kogi State government and 142 of its workers placed on compulsory leave without pay since 2011 has taken a new turn with the workers dragging the government before the National Industrial Court.
Documents made available to newsmen in Lokoja on Wednesday indicated that the case was filed in the Abuja division of the court on behalf of the workers by the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service Technical And Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE).
The affected categories of workers were with the Kogi State Transport Company Ltd when they were summarily asked to proceed on compulsory leave without pay since June 30, 2011.
The circular conveying the government decision was signed by the General Manager of the company, Mr Augustine Tokula.
Other defendants in the suit with reference number NICN/ BJ/89/2017 filed before the court on Feb. 7 by their counsel, Mr Aduojo Abah, are the state attorney-general and the Kogi State Transport Company Ltd.
Abah, in the statement of claim, is asking the court to compel the state government to pay N388.4 million to the 142 workers, being arrears of their salaries and allowances from Aug. 2011 to Dec. 2016.
Abah is also seeking the court’s order to compel the state government to the payment of N4.8 million monthly to the workers with effect from January, 2017 till the final determination of the suit.
He also requested the court to compel the defendants to immediately allow the workers to resume their duties in the transport company, declaring that their employments still subsist and can only be determined by strict compliance with extant labour laws.
Apart from these reliefs, Abah is demanding N10 million as damages for his clients from the defendants.
All the defendants have 14 days to respond to the complaints lodged against them.
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