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No work, no pay, Cross River government tells striking workers

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The Cross River State Government yesterday issued a ‘no work no pay’ directive to striking workers in the state’s civil service.

State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Benedict Ukpekpi, had in a bulletin at weekend issued a call on all workers in the state to commence an indefinite strike.

He disclosed that its decision followed the state government’s failure to effect payment of the new minimum wage, four years promotion arrears, non- reinstatement of over 1,000 sacked workers in September last year and non-payment of gratuity, among other issues.

Consequently, most government offices were deserted as workers stayed at home on Monday and yesterday, thereby crippling government’s activities.

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Worried by the development, Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Head of Service, Emmanuel Eke said, “The Head of Service has directed all public servants to ignore the strike at the behest of NLC, saying it was illegal and ill-timed.

“Workers are reminded that the 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 industrial action.

“The state government has implemented the new minimum wage and has commenced phased implementation of other agreements reached with labour, even amid the COVID-19 pandemic with the attendant economic challenges,” the circular reads.

It also charged workers to adhere strictly to government’s safety directives, insisting that the no work, no pay policy was still in force and any worker who failed to report for duty would not be paid.

It stressed that a team headed by the Head of Service would visit all ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) and workers who failed to report for work would be sanctioned in line with the provisions of the Public Service Rule.

But the NLC had asked workers not be deterred by government’s threat and should continue to stay at home saying, “We believe our actions are just.

“How is it a crime that we asked that our dyeing retirees are paid their gratuity? How is it a crime that we asked for implementation of our promotions, which have been pending for about 10 years?

“Is it is a crime that we request reinstatement of workers removed from payroll illegally for 10 months or that we asked that workers employed for two years now be pay rolled? Are promotion letters now certificates of service?

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