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Group protests prolonged judiciary workers’ strike in Anambra




Worried by the lingering strike action in Anambra, the Peace and Justice group under the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN), Anambra chapter yesterday staged a peaceful demonstration calling on the leadership of the union to end its three-month-old strike.

The protesters numbering over 300 converged on Aroma junction, before marching to the Government House, Awka, even as they displayed various placards with inscriptions like ‘end the strike’, ‘the government proposal on CONJUSS and salary payment plan is acceptable’.

Other inscriptions read: ’An idle mind is a devil’s workshop’, ‘we don’t want to die of hunger because of the stubbornness of JUSUN executives,’ ‘workers want to return to work’, among others.

It would be recalled that the state chapter of JUSUN embarked on industrial action since September 7 to compel the government to implement the Consolidated Judiciary Staff Salary Structure.

Addressing newsmen later, leader of the group, Mr Chira Ozioma said the protest was staged against the continued strike by JUSUN in the state, insisting that it has lost value.

Ozioma, who is also a staff of the state judiciary, wondered why the leadership of JUSUN had refused to sign a proposed agreement reached between the union and government, despite of the fact that the state  government had made efforts to end the strike.

He said the strike has lost its purpose as it has been hijacked by some politicians to scuttle Gov. Willie Obiano’s administration,’ he said.

He described Obiano as a “labour-friendly governor” and commended him for his maturity in handling the matter.

Receiving the group, the Secretary to the state Government, Prof. Solo Chukwulobelu commended them for their peaceful conduct and assured to present their letter to the governor, adding that the Obiano-led administration will continue to remain laour-friendly.

Chukwulobelu, who expressed the belief that the strike would end soon, praised the group for their peaceful conduct.

But in his reaction, the state chairman of JUSUN, Mr Mark Ifezue, said the union was not bothered by the protest, noting that the protesters were impostors hired to sabotage the union’s efforts.

According to him, we were aware that they hired some students and motorcycle operators to stage the protest, instead of addressing the issues on ground.

He accused government of working to split the union, saying that such action would not help matters. Ifezue however said that the union is willing to shift grounds if state government shows genuine interest in paying September and October salaries of workers.

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