Akwa Ibom workers threaten strike over entitlement

Bassey Anthony, Uyo


THE Akwa Ibom State chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has said its members may go on an indefinite strike over the continued refusal of the government to pay its workers’ entitlements.

NLC State Chairman Sunny James told reporters yesterday in Uyo, the state capital, that the workers might join the planned national strike because all was not well with the state’s workers, especially those in the local government areas.

James threatened that if the planned nationwide strike sailed through, the workers in the state would go on an indefinite strike.

“This means that other offices will receive their pensions and then those in the local government system would not. Discussions on this have been going on for some weeks now with the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs. I do hope that government would give peace a chance to allow benefits go to whoever they are due.

“For gratuity, we are not doing well in Akwa Ibom State. There has been a halt since 2016 in the civil service gratuity; no explanation has been given to us, four years along the line.

“In the local government administration, since 2010, it has not been paid to teachers; since 2012, it has not been paid to the local government workers. Therefore, 10 years after retirement, you cannot collect your gratuity. So, workers are not happy.

“What is burning at the moment is the non-implementation of promotion to Akwa Ibom workers. You have the letter, but it is not implemented.

“We are getting very uncomfortable about it. If the strike proceeds as planned, those are some of the things we may have to ask the Akwa Ibom State government to address before we go back to work. If the strike is allowed, then Akwa Ibom state government must solve our problems,” he said.