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Labour suspends 31-day strike in Cross River

By Anietie Akpan, Calabar
12 November 2021   |   3:54 am
The 31 days strike action by Organised Labour in Cross River State has been suspended.

The 31 days strike action by Organised Labour in Cross River State has been suspended.

Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Joint Public Service Negotiating Council (JNC) had on October 12, 2021 called out civil servants to protest the non-payment of gratuities, amounting to about N50 billion, non-implementation of the full 27.5 per cent teachers’ enhancement allowance, non-implementation of promotions, non-remittance of deductions from banks, non-implementation of minimum wage, among others.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the state government and the Organised Labour agreed that the implementation of promotions would end on or before August 2022 in state and local governments.

It also stated “that the state government agreed to set aside a minimum of N50 million monthly with effect from January 2022 for the payment of gratuities to state and local government retirees with an additional allocation up to the maximum of that month’s and or year’s gratuity in any month and or year where the revenue inflows increase,” among other agreements.

The Head of Service, Mrs. Geraldine Akpet-Ekanem, who signed for government and the Chairman of JNC, Godwin Otei, for the union, also agreed that “actual salary
payment is committed to the salary banks by directors of finance and supplies of councils.”

Briefing news men at the state secretariat of the Association of Senior Civil servants of Nigeria (ASCSN)/TUC, Otei said they had looked at the situation of things in the state and decided to suspend the strike due to the meeting they had with the Chairman, Traditional Rulers Council (TRC), Etinyene Etim Okon Edet, who mediated for peace between labour and government.

He said: “We have agreed to wait for five months to see if the government will fulfill all we have agreed and we did this in the interest of the people. This will go down as one of the longest strikes in the history of our dear state as we stayed home for about 31 days.”

The NLC Chairman in the state, John Ukpebi, said they had not called off the industrial action but only suspended it for five months, hoping that government would not fail on its part.