Chairman of the Cross River State Council of Traditional Rulers, has said that the outcome of his interface with some key leaders of the labour unions in the state is an indication that the issues at stake have already been trashed by government.
His Royal Majesty, Dr. Etim Okon Edet, in a release made available to TNN, appealed to the state governor, Prof. Ben Ayade to personally meet with the labour leaders.
The traditional ruler opined that from his engagements with leaders of the unions, payment of gratuities appears to be the major cause for the ongoing industrial action.
He said, “Having interfaced with some key leaders of the striking unions, we observed that most of the issues at stake have already been trashed by government.
“It has indeed been a miracle how His Excellency has been able to pay salaries and pensions of the workforce since assumption of office in 2015, especially, considering that CRS financial inflows are amongst the least in the country.
“The main issue pending, from our engagements, is payment of gratuities to retirees. This is, no doubt, an inherited burden, coupled with humongous debts incurred by past administrations.”
His Royal Majesty further proposed that, “we wish to propose the following, which we believe will address this imbroglio within 24hours.
“1. We appeal to His Excellency to personally meet with Labour leaders and place the state’s financial predicaments before them. Thereafter, seek their understanding. After all, same Leaders previously named him “most labour friendly governor” in Cross River State.
“2. Pledge to set aside #20million (or more if economy improves) monthly to settle gratuities from January, 2022. This should be captured in the budget.
“We thank the Labour leaders and the entire workforce for their patience and understanding with government. We hope to see the Strike called off after this meeting in the interest of all.”