Cross River Labour Kicks Against Police, Others Against Arresting Leaders

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Organised labour unions in Cross River State have warned against any attempt to arrest their leaders in the wake of the ongoing strike by state and local government workers, saying a large cell should be prepared for all the workers.

The warning was in reaction to the purported arrest of leaders of the organised labour unions comprising the Nigeria Labour Congress, Trade Union Congress and the state Joint Public Negotiating Council.

The reaction on Wednesday evening was through a statement marked ‘Bulletin 4’, titled ‘Freedom comes by struggle’ and signed by the Action Committee of the unions.

The leaders said, “Be informed that none of our leaders was arrested. If any such attempt is made by any security agency, they must prepare a cell large enough to accommodate all workers of both state and local governments in the state.”

Labour further demanded that the government should pay “teachers’ peculiar allowances that they were enjoying before the inception of this administration.

“NURTW (National Union of Road Transport Workers) should be allowed to resume collection of check-off dues from commercial drivers in the state.”

They also demanded that “the judiciary and legislature be granted autonomy in principle and practice. Nurses and other medical workers should be given the balance of their outstanding allowances.

Earlier, the striking state and local government workers in the state defied the state government’s directive to return to work.

Our correspondent observed that government offices were under lock and key on Wednesday as the strike entered Day Two in defiance of the directive of the Head of Service, Geraldine Akpet-Ekanem, that workers, who failed to return to work, would face severe sanctions.

Organised labour unions comprising the Nigeria Labour Congress, Trade Union Congress and the State Joint Public Negotiations Council countered the HoS directive and asked the workers to remain at home.

A document (Bulletin 3) titled, ‘The government is supposed to serve the citizens’, issued by the Action Committee of Organised Labour, read, “The Head of Service, Mrs Geraldine Akpet-Ekanem, is misleading the governor.

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