May 18, 2024

Edo State Sweepers Protest Low Wages

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By Simeon OSAJIE

Edo cleaners who were majorly women, protested what they tagged as low wages paid to them as their monthly salary by the State Waste Management Board.

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The women, dressed in their sweeping clothes with placards: “We Need Increment In Our Monthly Salary, We Are Tired Of N17,820.00”.

The women, through their spokesperson, Mrs. Glory Efosa, said they have been receiving  N17,820 for over six years and that with the current economy reality occasioned by the removal of fuel subsidy, they can no longer cope, therefore their wages should be increased.

“They pay us N18,000 but when they remove their tax, we will be left with N17,820. We have complained and written several letters calling for an increment.

“We started receiving this amount of money during the government of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole up till today.

“If we go for protest, the GM will say we don’t have an employment letter.

“They said Obaseki said he doesn’t know us as his workers but if they want to do anything in Benin City, they want to make the city beautiful, they will come to call us and we will go and make it clean. To cut the long story short, on Saturday after finishing our own task, they asked us  to go to New Benin and clean it up and we went.

“The GM was present during the cleaning and when we wanted to bring the matter up,  we were asked to hold on and that was how we abandoned the matter.

“Now, we are having a president who has removed fuel subsidy and things are now very expensive; that money cannot afford anything.

“What about somebody that has five children? How will he pay their school fees, pay his house rents, how will he feeds himself and his family?” Mrs Efosa asked rhetorically.

While commending the state governor for being the first person to have increased the minimum wage to N40,000, the spokesperson of the group said the governor should also extend same to them so that they can take care of their needs.

Admonishing the protesters, State Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Comrade Festus Alenkhe said they should have a round table discussion with the Waste Management Board and see how their salary can be reviewed.

Responding, the General Manager, Edo State Waste Management Board, Charles Imariagbe said their letter of complain is with them and plains are already in top gear to review their salary.

He also said that the state government is concerned about their plights.

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