Wednesday, January 21, 2015 11:42 am
Civil servants in Ebonyi State, eastern part of Nigeria, returned home on Wednesday morning after a three-day warning strike was announced by the leadership of the Trade Union Congress, TUC, in the state to press home the demands of workers for improved conditions of service.
Mr Ikechukwu Nwafor, who chairs TUC in the state, made the announcement in Abakaliki, the state capital, that the three-day strike which commenced on Wednesday, 21 January would end Friday, 23 January and that it was embarked upon to, among other issues, demand the immediate payment of the September 2011 workers’ salaries being withheld by the state government for embarking on what he described as a legitimate industrial action then.
He further accused the government of refusing to address the contentious issue of the National Minimum Wage for civil servants in the state adding that congress had written series of letters to the state government since 2012 on the matter, but that it was yet to receive positive response from the government.
Nwafor said that a 21-day ultimatum given to government in December 2014 to meet the demands of the workers had elapsed and that “the strike is total, irrevocable and irreversible.
“We shall continue to agitate until all the demands and issues in contention are addressed. I call on the good and resilient workers of Ebonyi to remain dogged and steadfast in the action until victory is achieved.”
He said the congress had inaugurated a task force to monitor and enforce compliance and that all government ministries, parastatals agencies would remain under lock during the period.
In support of the action, many of the workers returned home while some of them called on the state government to address all labour-related disputes in the state in the interest of industrial harmony and also to forestall a full scale indefinite strike.
The state government is yet to release any official statement at the time of this report.