By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo
Nigeria Labour Congress, (NLC), Akwa Ibom State chapter has issued a 14-ultimatum to Governor Udom Emmanuel to address the pending issues of the Congress, failure which it will embark on indefinite strike.
The Chairperson of NLC, Comrade Sunny James and Acting Secretary, Comrade Iboro Ibara jointly signed a communique after State Executive Council (SEC) Emergency Meeting held yesterday in Uyo, which contained the ultimatum.
In the communique, Labour raised what it described as the State Government’s continued refusal to address the multitude of issues affecting the survival of workers and retirees in the state as well as the well-being of Congress.
Congress resolved to stretch its patience for 14 days beginning from midnight of Tuesday, 27th October, 2020, within which their grievances should be resolved.
Among the demanding issues begging to be addressed by Governor Emmanuel include, payment of the 2020 leave grant to all civil servants; 2018- 2020 leave grant to workers in the Local Government Service and 2015, 2017- 2020 leave grant to Primary School Teachers.
It further demanded the immediate end to the use of what Labour described as dubious and recalcitrant Salary Consultants to manage the State’s Civil Service Payroll, thus seeking reversal to payroll officers within the service who are eminently qualified to do the same job.
Part of the resolution reads “It is evident that the plight of retired Primary School Teachers and next-of-kin amongst others will not be put to rest if their services continue to be retained.
Others include, “Immediate end to the encroachment on the land earlier allocated by the government to the Organized Labour at Ikpedip lbiono/lkot Ide, Itak.
“Immediate implementation of promotions and payment of accrued promotion arrears to Civil Servants in the State and stoppage of the obnoxious policy of “notional promotion” in the State Civil Service.
“State Government should immediately clear the backlog of gratuities to retirees in the State as follows: Retirees of the State Civil Service from April 2016 to the present; Retirees of the Local Government Service from 2012 to the present; Retired Primary School Teachers from 2010 to the present and;
Next-of-kin especially Primary School Teachers from 1989 to the present.
“Immediate payment of the December 2019 arrears of minimum wage to all Akwa lbom workers and the January 2020 Minimum Wage arrears already paid to other Civil Servants to Primary School Teachers.
“Immediately release funds for the refund of the 7.5 per cent Contributory Pensions to Primary School Teachers and all such Civil Servants that did not get their refunds.
“The immediate harmonization of pensions for all State Government retirees in compliance with Extant Laws,” among other demands by the labour force.
It could be recalled that the appeal of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), AKwa Ibom State Council, for the resolution of all outstanding grievances of Akwa lbom State workers was contained in the Communiqué issued at the end of the State Executive Council (SEC) Meeting of Congress on 7th October, 2020, a copy of which it is gathered was sent to the Governor’s office.
The NLC leadership noted that it has furthered sent the ultimatum to the Governor’s office and has also copied security agencies in readiness for action.