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NLC In Cross River Shuts Down Public Offices

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Public offices including schools and hospitals have been shut down by the Organised Labour in Cross River State yesterday to press home its demands.

It comprised the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Joint Public Service Negotiating Council (JNC).

According to the group, the action followed failure of the state government to heed to its ultimatums issued over its demands.

A statement jointly signed by chairmen of the affiliate unions listed 14 issues in contention, which included non-payment of gratuities to retirees of state and local government workers for the past six years.

Others are the non-remittances of deductions from workers’ salaries and the full implementation of the minimum wage to the state and local government workers.

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Also listed are non-implementation of promotion arrears to workers of state and local governments and reinstatement of pensioners wrongfully removed from payroll.

Following the action, the gates of the state secretariat were locked, while many other public offices were also put under lock and key.

Students of some secondary schools in several parts of Calabar metropolis were asked to return home by the labour leaders.

At the General Hospital, Calabar, the main entrance to the hospital was shut to the public.

Reacting to the situation, Mr. Effiong Umoh, special adviser to the governor on Labour Matters, said most of the demands by the unions had been met.

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He also said that the unions had not exhausted all avenues for dialogue before embarking on an indefinite strike.

“The labour gave warning on Thursday and we called them for a meeting on Friday but they refused to come because they know they were to commence strike on Monday.

“We will continue to appeal to them to consider the financial situation of the government,” he said.




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