By CrossRiverWatch admin
As earlier reported by CrossRiverWatch, the organized labor in Cross River State Friday, downed tools with several public sector driven services grounded just as the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) and Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) shunned the directive citing communication breakdown in the build up to the industrial action.
As early as 7 am Friday, October 2, 2015 several labor officials locked down gates of Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the state government including the Governor’s office with some member unions ensuring implementation by sitting in front of their office premises to deny access.
Competent sources say the Chief Security Officer to governor Benedict Ayade went round with some Mobile Police officers (MOPOL) breaking the locks, beginning with those in the Governor’s office only for some staff of several MDAs to purchase new locks and lock the gates again with the exception of the Governor’s office.
Unconfirmed reports suggest there was a minor face off between striking civil servants and the CSO’s men at the Ministry of Environment headquarters opposite the controversial cultural center complex.
Labor leaders, CrossRiverWatch gathered forged ahead with the industrial action to press home their demands after their meeting with the governor earlier in the week ended in a deadlock.
Meanwhile, the NUT and NULGE shunned the strike owing to what both of them say is a break in communication in the build up to the decision to strike.
The Chairman, Obudu chapter of NULGE, Ferdinand Ugbong, in a telephone interview told this reporter that his union formed a large chunk of the labor force stressing that the modus operandi for resolving conflict was still on course for them as they are yet to reach the stage where an industrial action is needed.
“Yes I can confirm we are not partaking in the strike” he says. He continued “We have mechanisms for settling our issues and our state chairman has been communicating with the governor, NULGE forms a very large part of the NLC and if there should be anyone complaining, it should be us as we have not been paid and even when the pay was coming, it is not always in time as that of our state counterparts.”
Comrade Eyo Nsa-Itam, Cross River State Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, NUT also told CrossRiverWatch in a text message that teachers in the state were “for now not involved in the strike action called by the NLC owing to communication breaches” in the planning for the action.
Some teachers who spoke on condition of anonymity say they were directed to continue working.
As at the time it became clear NUT was not partaking in the strike, public schools had closed for the day with students in the Calabar metropolis seen returning from school around 3pm today.
Notable among the services affected include the state owned Cross River Broadcasting Corporation which went off air from 12 midnight Thursday.
The Department of Public Transport, DOPT was also under lock and key with none of their staff seen on patrol.
The Michael Ani secretariat popularly known as old secretariat and the new secretariat were under lock.
A few nurses could be seen in several Primary Health Care centers. The governor’s office only saw a few appointees trickle in and out with the governor not coming to the office the whole day with close aides hinting he travelled out of the state.
The deputy governor, Professor Ivara Esu, however was in his office.
Government offices in Calabar were deserted by workers and visitors due to industrial action by the Labor Unions: Pictures as monitored by our reporter.
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