Again, TUC, NULGE, NUT, SPSNC, Dissociate Selves From NLC Strike

The planned indefinite strike by the Cross River Chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) may have hit the brick as sister unions distance themselves from the exercise which was scheduled to commence today.  The labour bodies are the Trade Union Congress (TUC), State Public Service Negotiating Council (SPSNC), the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) and the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE).  They rose from a meeting with the state deputy governor, Professor Ivara Esu, dissociating themselves from the strike.  The NLC had recently issued two weeks ultimatum to the Cross River government but was cancelled because of its inability to speak with one voice as a union.  However, in the meeting with the deputy governor, the vice chairman of SPSNC, Comrade Julius Nkoji, secretary of TUC, Ken Bassey, NULGE chairman, Comrade Godwin Ayendi and NUT chairman, Comrade Eyo Nsa Itam, the unions appreciated Gov Ben Ayade for implementing the national minimum wage and appealed to government to follow it up with the promotion of workers.  They instructed their members to disregard the call by NLC for strike, noting that the action was not necessary.  The unions also appealed to the governor to consider the screening of workers whose names were removed from the payroll, using the approach of one MDA at a time, to maintain social distancing, given the coronavirus pandemic.   Esu had told the labour leaders that government was desirous of ensuring the wellbeing of workers.  The deputy governor stated that the meeting was necessitated by the need to address some issues raised by NLC, which include reinstatement of workers whose names were dropped from the government's payroll and the implementation of workers' promotion.  He maintained that all issues raised by the NLC had been previously negotiated and addressed by government including the implementation of the new national minimum wage.   On the request for the screening of workers who were taken off payroll, the deputy governor reminded the unions that government was set to commence the exercise only for the nationwide lockdown occasioned by the COVID-19 to take effect from the same day the screening was to start.  He promised to take their request to the governor, asserting that calling out workers for strike at this period was ill-timed.  Esu asked for caution, saying, "Government holds Cross River workers in high esteem.  The NLC had advised all workers to stay at home from Monday, June 29, 2020 until government attends to all lingering labour issues.  "It is an indefinite strike over an alleged refusal of the state government to settle  eight-point wages-related demands of the NLC, the NLC chairman, Comrade Ben Ukpepi, said the decision to embark on strike was taken after days of warning strike had elapsed "without government

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