Chiemeka ADINDU, Calabar
The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, in Cross River state has continued to flex muscles with the state government over pending demands that have paralyzed activities in the state since Monday.
They stress that they will maintain their grounds until the government refrains from neglecting their welfare, urging its members not to be deterred by any threat from the government of Prof Ben Ayade.
This was contained in a bulletin released by the NLC and obtained by TNN in response to the press release by the Head of Service threatening to withhold the salary of any worker who refuses to go to work.
The NLC said they had not committed any crime in any way by embarking on the strike which seeks to address the insensitivity of the government towards the welfare of workers in the state.
The state government had threatened to withhold the salary of any civil/public servant in the state under her employ who absents themselves from work in honour of the strike embarked by the NLC over pending issues with the state government.
The threat was contained in a release signed by Permanent Secretary to the Head of Service, Emmanuel Enene Eke, urging workers to neglect the strike by the NLC while describing it as illegal. In part, it reads thus;
“The Head of Service has directed all Civil/Public servants to ignore the strike action called by the purported Nigeria Labour Congress and remain on their duty post as the purported strike action by NLC is illegal and ill timed.
“Workers are hereby reminded that the major labour unions responsible for the affairs of the State Civil/Public Servants; Joint Public Service Negotiating Council (JPSNC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) have disassociated themselves from the illegal strike action as government has implemented the new minimum wage and has commenced phase implementation of other agreements reached with labour even in the face of the current global pandemic with the attendant economic challenges.
“Workers are further reminded that the principle of NO WORK NO PAY is still in force and any worker who fails to report for work will not be paid his or her salary”. It went further to add that a team by the head of service will visit all MDAs and workers not found on their post would be sanctioned in line with the provisions of the Public Service