By CrossRiverWatch admin
The Public Service Joint Negotiating Council, JNC comprising the Nigeria Labor Congress (NLC), and the Trade Union Congress, TUC have said that the government of Governor Ayade which came on board with so much promise has not done more than making noise and blaring loud sirens in its first four months in office.
The Labor unions directed workers in the state to begin an indefinite sit-at-home strike from today, Friday October 2, following failed negotiations with the Governor on Wednesday evening over issues bordering on non-payment of salaries, allowances among others.
Labor rose from Wednesday’s futile meeting accusing the governor of being aloof to their plight and issued multiple bulletins directing workers to abstain from work beginning from today.
A member of the Union who did not want to be named told CrossRiverWatch that the meeting on Wednesday was going on well with the Deputy Governor, Professor Ivara Esu before the governor, who he said initially did not want to meet with them “stepped in and aggravated the tense situation then worked out on us.”
But the state Chairman of the NLC, John Ushie, told newsmen that: “The strike is organized by the Joint Negotiating Council and, of course, as our affiliate, we are giving them the cover. We just came out from a meeting with the government of Cross River State, we had a meeting with the Deputy and it was smooth, it was going in the way of negotiation, but again the Deputy pleaded that we should meet with the Governor.
“But when the governor eventually came, after keeping the representatives of the workers waiting for hours; he said he was disappointed that he has done so much for the workers but they did not appreciate.
“But, we let him understand that it is not true that workers don’t appreciate, for the fact that he has paid salary, and paying the net of it, but salaries are paid on gross and not just the net of it. What is remaining are statutory; that is statutory deductions and they are made from salaries. There is need for him to remit that to where it supposed to go.
“For instance, the deducted check-off dues go to the unions, also the loans from banks will go to the banks and finally the computer scheme deductions will go to the company that supplied the computers to workers. Because Labor had given an approval to that in conjunction with government, so if government surety us and we also surety our workers, that money should go to where we surety, otherwise it will amount to double deduction.
“It’s not an issue of him being offended that we don’t appreciate him, the truth is that, there is a disconnect; there is no communication; we have sought audience severally by writing and he has never approved, we have sought audience severally through phone contact and he has never responded. We have sought audience to see in various functions with no success. For the first time since he assumed office in four months we are just meeting him, and if not for this strike action, we would not have the opportunity to meet with him.”
The union consequently in different bulletins directed members and affiliates to begin a sit-at-home strike.
One of the bulletins read in part:
“So Much Noise, No Action”
“Comrades, this government came with so much promise, but so far after more than 100 days, no action.
“MDAs are grounded, no activity, no funding.
“One man show, no Exco. Boards, Commissions and Agencies not formed!
“Promotion of civil servants stalled!
“Salaries paid in parts, no release of deductions from salaries!
“Civil servants are made bad debtors to banks and loan vendors!
“All we hear is noise and sirens! Comrades, we are tired of waiting!”
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