Government News Source, 29 June 2020
The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) in Cross River state has again suffered isolation in its quest to rally workers for strike as sister labour bodies Friday restated their rejection of the action NEGROIDHAVEN has confirmed.
The labour bodies, the Trade Union Congress (TUC), State Public Service Negotiating Council (SPSNC), the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) and the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) rose from a meeting with the state Deputy Governor, Professor Ivara Esu, dissociating themselves from the strike.
The NLC recently issued issued two weeks ultimatum to the Cross River state government.
However, in the meeting with the Deputy governor, the vice chairman of SPSNC, Comrade Julius Nkoji, Secretary of TUC, Ken Bassey, NULGE chairman, Comrade Godwin Ayendi and NUT Chairman, Comrade Eyo Nsa Itam expressed appreciation to governor Ben Ayade for implementing the national minimum wage and appealed to government to follow it up with the promotion of workers.
They instructed their members to disregard the call by NLC for strike noting that the action was not necessary.
The unions also appealed to the governor to consider the screening of workers whose names removed from Payroll, using the approach of one MDA at a time, so as to maintain social distancing given the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking earlier, Professor Esu told the labour leaders that government was desirous of ensuring the well being of workers.
The Deputy Governor stated that the meeting was necessitated by the need to address some issues raised by NLC which include, reinstatement of workers whose names were dropped from the government payroll and the implementation of worker's promotion.
He maintained that all issues raised by the NLC had been previously negotiated and addressed by government including the implementation of the National Minimum Wage.
On the request for the screening of workers who were taken off payroll, the Deputy Governor reminded the Unions that government was set to commence the exercise only for the nationwide lockdown occasioned by the COVID-19 to take effect from the same day the screening was to start. He therefore, promised to take their request to the governor.
He asserted that calling out workers for strike at this period was ill-timed. Professor Esu therefore, urged caution saying government holds Cross River workers in high esteem.