N17m Arrears: Express workers, NLC gives Harmony Holdings ultimate


The staff of Kwara Express and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) have given Harmony Holdings Limited (HHL) ultimatum to clear the N17m salary arrears owed workers of the transport company.
The affected workers who had embarked on industrial action on Saturday called it off on Tuesday, with a warning to resume the strike if the arrears is not offset by Friday
Speaking on the development on a telephone interview with the state Chairman of NLC, Comrade Yekeen Agunbaide said the management of HHL has not show sincerity on the issue
“Labour has been intervening in the issue, but there is no sincerity from the managers of Kwara Express.
“The latest statement sent by HHL stating that it will immediately address the issue must tally with the demand, if by Friday it is not meant, the strike will continue. This is our position as the state labour union.
Also, the Secretary of Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service, Technical and Recreational Employees (AUPCTRE), Comrade Saliu Suliaman said the management has assured of payment on or before Friday.
Speaking with this medium on Tuesday, he said, ” We are calling off the strike action we commenced on Saturday and we are giving Harmony Holdings between now and Friday to pay the N17 million as half of the N34 million arrears.
“We have met with the HHL and equally had a meeting with the Managing Director of Kwara Express, Alhaji Salaudeen Alabi and he’s assured us that we will get credit alert this week.
When contacted on the issue, Alabi referred our reporter to the Corporate Affairs Department of HHL.
However, a statement by HHL signed by the Manager of Corporate Affairs, Mr. Kayode Aremu, promised staff of the state transport company of immediate commencement of payment of their 2011-2013 minimum wage arrears.
The statement quoted the Group Managing Director of HHL, Tope Daramola has giving the assurance at HHL headquarters while addressing some of the affected staff.
“We have been on this issue for some time now and have held several meetings with the labour unions and government. It will have been resolved if the unions had agreed to the structured payment earlier proposed to them”.
“The 34 million naira arrears was incurred before HHL was established. Harmony Holdings started the implementation of the minimum wage immediately it took over the management of the company in 2013 and has never defaulted.
“The payment of 50 percent of the arrears amounting to 17 million naira will commence immediately while the balance will be paid on structured plan.
He requested the union to bring up a payment plan on how it wants to be paid while appealing to the workers who had embarked on industrial action to resume work immediately as the company was losing money.
“It is important to save the company by resuming work. Harmony Holdings in the last four years has invested close to 200 million naira in Kwara Express. These include payment of debts, and arrears of allowances/ salary incurred before the takeover of the company by HHL.

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