…Says action desecrated Minister’s office
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru , ABUJA
THE Ministry of Labour and Employment is demanding an apology from the striking Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria, JUSUN and the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria, PASAN, for walking out on the Minister, Senator Chris Ngige last week.
The ministry described the action of the two striking unions as a desecration of the ministry, saying that such action has contributed to delaying reconvening of the meeting.
A source at the ministry that spoke on the condition of anonymity while responding to inquiries on why the government has delayed reconvening the meeting with the unions said, “Part of it is that the Ministry is demanding an apology from the unions for desecrating the office during their walkout at the last conciliatory meeting, by being unruly, singing and walking out on the Permanent Secretary and other officials.
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“Our Conference Room is like our own court, you can go the court and desecrate it or go to the hallowed chambers of the National Assembly and be singing protest songs.”
On whether the federal government and states have agreed on how to address the demands of the Judiciary and Parliamentary workers, the source said, “It’s work in progress. We are still meeting.
“The government side will be meeting tomorrow (Tuesday). The government side needs to be on the same page before it puts anything on paper as Memorandum of Understanding.”
It will be recalled that the two unions walked out on the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Ngige last week when they felt neglected by the Minister after waiting for about two hours at a meeting convened on the instance of the Minister.
Already PASAN has vowed to continue with the industrial action until its demands are met and signed by all the Governors and Speakers of the 36 States of the Federation.
One of such demands which were contained in a position paper signed by the association’s Acting National Secretary, Comrade Ikechukwu Alaribe, which was submitted to the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige is the full implementation of the financial autonomy for the state legislature and state judiciary.
Other conditions include the full compliance with Presidential Executive Order No. 10, 2020 by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for the Implementation of financial Autonomy for the State and State Judiciary; states Assemblies service commissions must be established in each state of the Federation.
Legislative activities in state Assemblies have been paralysed since the workers commenced strike over some contentious issues on March 23
In the position paper dated 20th April and addressed to the minister, the Union listed five conditions, saying it will only call off the strike when the implementation of those conditions begin.
Comrade Alaribe explained that the decision to continue with the strike was reached after the enlarged National Executive Council, NEC, meeting of the union.