By Ike Uchechukwu – Calabar
The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Cross River Council has asked workers in the state employ to stay at home from Monday 29 June 2020.
The NLC also disclosed that strike action was the last resort since the government has refused to negotiate with them in a bid to addressing their demands but instead turned a blind eye to all their request by sourcing for a court injection to stop the expression of their constitutional rights.
Briefing newsmen in Calabar on Friday, Cross River NLC Chairman, Com. Ben Ukpebi said that the state government was neither keen nor interested in attending to the plight of the workers in the state.
His words: “It is very obvious that Cross River state is not interested in the welfare of her workers. Workers issues presented to government have been ignored. Even some issues that Organised Labour has reached agreement on have all been abandoned and rejected by the government.
“Be informed that some of our workers whose names were unjustly removed from the payroll have died, we have lost about five members and we can no longer keep mum, enough is enough.
“Others request including implementation of promotion given four years ago, the return of workers whose names were illegally removed from payroll last year September, payment of pensions and gratuities for six years now amongst other demands.
“Immediate return of weighing allowance to NUPPROW members and RATAWU. Payment of salary of workers employed two years about 2000 of them have not been paid, the allowance is a federal thing and should be returned and so on.
“I want to say here that we have given 14 days, we have also given another 7 days yet no response on the part of the government, and that is why we believe they are not serious and unperturbed about our cry.
“So comrades, on this note starting from Monday 29, June we advise every civil servant in Cross River state, to stay at home, nobody will sack you, nobody will victimise you in any way.
“Do not allow the labour task force to drive you home from your various offices, stay at home until there is further directive or development,” Ukpebi said.
Speaking further, he maintained that Organised Labour comprises of 46 affiliate Unions and 45 of them except TUC were on the same page as it concerns the strike action.
His words:” We are on course and on the right path, there are 46 affiliate Unions under the umbrella of Organised Labour and 45 of them are fully involved in the strike.
“We learned that the government obtained a court injection to stop us from going on strike, but the induction is not binding because it was not obtained from the appropriate court, any labour issue especially matters like this.
“We, therefore, advise workers across the state to stay at home from Monday and let us make it very clear that there is no better than this to carry out the strike, it is not in bad faith but in the interest of the entire workforce in Cross River,” Ukpebi said.