By Victor Ahiuma-Young
RIVERS State council of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, in what can be regarded as a u-turn, has resolved not to confront the Rivers State government over State Social Services Levy, SSSL, pending before the state House of Assembly.
It said it will rather monitor, dialogue and collaborate with the government to ensure that the laudable objectives the SSSL seeks to achieve are fully realized in the interest of the peace and development of the state.
Before this development, TUC had threatened to declare an industrial action against the Rivers State government over the proposed levy, describing it as not only an additional burden on the workers, but amounted to double taxation.
However, leaders of Rivers State TUC in a statement at the end of an emergency state Council meeting on Rivers State Social Services Levy, said among others, that “based on available information and in the absence of due consultation as aforementioned, the state Executive Committee of TUC was left with no better alternative than to lead the struggle against the Rivers State Social Services Levy Bill 2010 / the Rivers State Social Services Contributory Levy Law 2010 and therefore commended the state Executive Committee for the struggle so far.”
According to TUC, “the considerable reduction in the amount payable by persons in employment in the Schedule of the Rivers State Social Services Contributory Levy Law 2010 from the 3% of annual basic salary originally stated in the Rivers State Social Services Levy Bill 2010 to the N300 per month for junior civil servants (grade level 01-06) to N5,000 per month for management staff of the petroleum industry now in the Rivers State Social Services Contributory Levy Law 2010 would not have been possible without the spirited fight by the Congress and her social partners.”