March 7, 2021

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NLC, NULGE Draw Battle Line With A’Ibom Govt

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The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Akwa Ibom State Council and the Nigerian Union of Local Government and Employees, NULGE, have drawn a battle line with the state government over the sacking of 783 local government staff, non-payment of pension and gratuity to both government staff and retired primary school teachers as well as casualization of staff of state owed Akwa Ibom Broadcasting Corporation, AKBC.
The labour union, led by the state chairman, Sunny James, alongside members of National Union of Local Government Employees, NULGE, and retired primary school teachers, had on Monday, barricaded the entrance to the Government House to protest and express their grievance to the Government.
The irate protesters, chanted various songs, with placards with inscriptions “enough is enough, pay pension/gratuity to LG workers and primary school teachers”, “harmonize our pension”, “recall our sacked 783 staff”, among others.
They particularly lambasted the state government for the placement of over 100 staff of AKBC as casual workers with a paltry take home pay of N10,000 per month as well as “inhuman treatment” meted to staff of College of Arts and Science, Nung Ukim.
State chairman, Sunny James, said the 783 local government staff were sacked and sent home without satisfactory reasons. He also said that four of the affected staff have died as a result of non-payment of their salaries, while others are suffering hypertension and have no means of treating themselves.
James also frowned at the non payment of gratuity and pension to the retirees in the local government and primary schools in the state, added that many retirees, who have served the state faithfully, have been forced to their early graves.
Other demands by the union include, payment of leave grant, release of promotion and benefit accruing to it, recall of four staff of jubilee syringe factory sacked by government.
While expressing hope that government would listen to their plea, the labour leaders however said that if their demands were not met, the union would embark on total strike.
On the current controversial national minimum wage, James said other states had signed it into law while others have begun implementation. He urged the state government to follow suit.
“National minimum was signed into law in some states. Ekiti state is about to pay in October, Kaduna State paid in September, Akwa Ibom State should also follow suit”.
Reacting to the protesting union members, the permanent secretary, Government House, promised to channel their demands.

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