The labour Union strike in Cross River State enters day 7, as labour government face -off heightens.
Immediately following the return to work nationwide after the two days Ramadan holiday, Cross Riverians are welcomed to the reality of the face – off between the Nigerian Labour Congress and the state government which has lingered for two weeks.
The face-off which had led to an indefinite strike embarked upon by the organised labour beginning from Monday, June 19 was borne out of the demand by the labour Union for the implementation of the agreement reached between organised labour and the state government on the payment of salaries to local government staff, termination of the use of consultants in the payment of salaries, pensions and gratuity owed retirees, commencement of promotion for state civil servants, release of impress to ministries etc.
Speaking to newsmen on Tuesday, June 20, the chief press secretary to the governor Mr. Christian Ita lamented that the strike action embarked upon by labour was pointless.
“The point is that the labour people even have no business of going on strike as government has met all their demands. They asked for promotion and the governor has agreed that they should be given and it was given”.
“The question is why are they on strike? Strike for what? Do they know why they are on strike or are they on strike because they want to go on strike?” The CPS fumed.
Following the action the state government had appealed for all civil servants to return back to work while assuring them of maximum security and from any form of oppression.
Last week, police trucks were noticed around some of the offices round the calabar metropolis while it was reported that the gates to the offices that were under lock and key were broken by the orders of the state government to allow workers entrance into their offices.
In response to that, the labour Union had released a bulletin slamming the government’s idea to force workers to go back to work while urging workers to remain at home until their demands are met.
Contrary to expectations that all government offices will open for business yesterday, Wednesday, 27 June as directed by Governor Ben Ayade through the Commissioner for Information and Orientation Mrs Rosemary Archibong, the reverse had actually become the case as labour unions in the state have vowed to completely shut down the state owned media house, CRBC which has since last week been running skeletal services between the hours of 8am and 12pm for morning shift and 4pm to 8pm afternoon shift, to enable the citizens monitor negotiations between government and labour.
An anonymous source within the labour circle had revealed that instead of the state government providing a level playing ground for both parties, government had hijacked the state station using it to promote lies that it had met all the demands of the union wondering why the union is still insisting that workers stay at home.
He added that the state broadcasting corporation, as well as some other offices that were forced open were going to be picketed yesterday, Wednesday, June 27 to drive home their point that the government was yet to meet their demand.
By Missing Akpet.