By Ike Uchechukwu – Calabar
Organised Labour in Cross River state has warned Directors in the state Civil Service not to be the ones to be used by the government to break the strike as they were desperate to ensure that the industrial action was stopped by every means necessary without proper negotiations and agreement.
Vanguard learnt that the said meeting was to hold at the Conference room today but in a counter directive, Labour advised all Directors not to attend such a meeting stressing that it was a trap and a ploy to break the strike.
In another memo released by Organised Labour on Wednesday, they accused the government of shopping for court order instead of dialoguing to meet their demands.
In a memo “A government with no Conscience” they stated that the Ayade led adminstration was shopping for a court order to truncate the ongoing strike.
“Instead of settling our demands, the government of Prof. Ben Ayade is rather shopping for a court order to truncate the ongoing strike action.
“Comrades, discountenance any directives from any person from the state government, not even a court order can break our determination to get justice from the government.
“We cannot be slaves in our state, don’t pay attention to any directives from anyone in government continue to stay at home until you hear from us,” they stated.
Speaking exclusively with Vanguard on Wednesday, Secretary of the Joint Public Service Negotiating Council, JNC, Com. Clarkson Otu, said the warning became necessary following directives by Head of Service, Geraldine Akpet-Ekanem, to Director to attend to crucial meeting.
His words: “We are aware of the ploy by government to break our ranks, they should understand that it will not work, we made up our minds from day one.
“We are open to dialogue, we are open to negotiate because we know that we can resolve the impasse through sincere discussions, but it seems the government is not ready to listen to us instead they are looking for other means to break the strike,” he said.
When contacted, the Chairman of Trade Union Congress TUC in Cross River, Com. Monday Ogbodum said the development was quite unfortunate adding that no amount of intimidation or tricks will break the strike.
” We are very much aware that the government is desperately shopping for a court order to stop us, but they should understand that we came out prepared , only proper discussions will end the strike, no backyard arrangements will stop us.
“The Directors themselves should not forget that they are Civil servants too, an injury to one is an injury to all, they should not allow government to use them to break our resolve, because we also fought for them when they were unjustly asked to pay 25,000 naira as exam fees.
“Any director attending such a meeting is working against our common goal. All should note Govt will do all in its power to break the strike. Don’t play into their hands, stay away from such meeting,” Ogbodum said.