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Ben Ayade Cross River Govt appeals to workers to suspend strike

Organised labour in the state embarked on indefinite strike to protest non-payment of gratuities on June 19, 2017.

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Cross River Governor Ben Ayade

(Cross River watch)

The Cross River Government has appealed to civil servants in the state to suspend the ongoing strike, having met all the demands of the workers.

Speaking with newsmen on Thursday in Calabar, the Secretary to the State Government, Mrs Tina Agbor, urged the striking workers to consider the interest of the state and return to work.

Agbor assured that no staff would be victimised for embarking on strike.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that on June 19, organised labour in the state embarked on indefinite strike to protest non-payment of gratuities, release of promotion letters, among others.

Agbor, who was accompanied during the briefing by the State’s Head of Service, Mr Ekpenyong Henshaw, described the strike as `unnecessary.’

She said that in spite of dwindling monthly allocation accruing to the state from the federation account, the government had remained committed in making workers’ welfare a priority.

She said that the government, in a letter dated June 14, 2017, addressed to the state Civil Service Commission, conveyed the approval of the governor for the promotion of civil servants.

“Even when for six years, there was no promotion,’’ Agbor said.

She said that while other states were suffering from the syndrome of none payment of workers’ salaries, Gov. Ben Ayade had consistently ensured prompt payment of salaries to workers and sometimes even before the due date.

“The governor’s unprecedented magnanimity in appointing 31 new permanent secretaries also created vacancies for Directors in the various Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

“Having shown such magnanimity and benevolence, it is expected that labour should reciprocate the governor’s goodwill and ensure that workers put in their best to work.

“In a Memorandum of Understanding between the government and organised labour, on May 30, 2017, it was agreed that promotion of deserving civil/public servants shall resume forthwith.

“After which letters would be released, while financial implications will be worked out by the Head of Service and Commissioner for Finance for the governors’ consideration,’’ Agbor said.

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The secretary expressed dismay that even after the governor had granted approval for the promotion of workers, organised labour still decided to call out workers on strike.

Also speaking, Henshaw said it was legally wrong for government establishments to be placed under lock and key by labour unions.

The head of service expressed concern why the relationship between the government and labour should go sour when the governor had always seen the welfare and salaries of civil servants as priority.

He assured that the safety of workers is guaranteed as they return back to discharge their lawful duties.

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