By Anayo Okoli
Umuahiaâ€”LOCAL government workers in Abia State have resolved to embark on an indefinite strike beginning from today to protest the state governmentâ€™s inability to pay them arrears of their salaries and allowances.
The council workers said that despite the time they gave government, their demands were yet to be met, hence the directive to embark on the strike which they said has the backing of their national headquarters of the umbrella body, NULGE.
But the government has dared the council workers, warning them not to be used negatively. Government said that it has been making effort to pay the workersâ€™ arrears of salaries and allowances.
â€œThe attention of the Abia State government has been drawn to rumours of a planned strike action by staff of the local government councils in the state over non industrial issues. Government wishes to use this medium to alert workers in the local councils, not to allow themselves to be used negatively. It is a public knowledge that before the recent dissolution of the last elected administration in the local councils,Â some councilÂ workers were owed arrears of salaries and workers did not go on strike.
â€œIt took the intervention of the worker-friendly state Governor, Chief T.A. Orji, who assured the council workers that all arrears of salaries owed them will be liquidated, before the workers were assuaged.
As part of efforts to fulfil the promise made to the workers, Governor Orji, instead of constituting Caretaker Committees for the Local Government Councils, handed the mantle of leadership to the workers through the various Heads of Service in all the 17 local councils. This was to make sure that salary and wage bills for the council are reduced to enable the various councils off-set the backlogs owed their workers”, the government said.