By Andy Esiet, Calabar
Cross River state government has faulted organised labour’s insistence on industrial action despite meeting their demands.
The Deputy Governor of the state, Professor Ivara Esu who spoke at a scheduled meeting with labour leaders, which they failed to show up, decried their belligerent posture, wondering why they failed to keep to their part of the agreement with government.
The Deputy Governor in a statement yesterday signed by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Publicity, Mr. Christian Ita also condemned labour’s failure to turn up for the meeting and their resort to locking up government offices saying, “we called those who signed this document to come for a meeting with us. Not necessarily for negotiations but at least let us hear who they represent, and perhaps what they are about.
“Though organized labour is not known to law in terms of issues between employer and employee, they signed this document and we invited them for a meeting and we have been waiting here not even one of them has shown up”, the evidently upset Processor Esu said.
Enumerating government’s efforts at fulfilling its agreement with labour, the Deputy Governor disclosed that “the implementation of promotion of workers has just been approved by His Excellency, the Governor to commence in phases and even as we speak in the last salary payment, this was implemented.
“In terms of remittances from workers salaries, the Governor has also approved four months and that three months be made ready in the first instance and these things are verifiable and these guys are not aware, they don’t ask questions, they just wake up to declare a strike”
Continuing, Professor Esu said: “I must say the practice of locking government offices and preventing people who want to work in having access is unacceptable.”
Meanwhile Labour has maintained that they are not ready to negotiate with anyone except the governor as all issues in dispute have been agreed and signed waiting for implementation.
In their bulletin 5, labour accused the state government of going round with security breaking the chains labour had used to secure the secretariat and other government offices to enforce the strike action that has entered its third day today.
They said ” let us put it on notice that should any government property be effected these men shall bear the full responsibility and by breaking the chains they have fully broken the chains used in oppressing the workers and retirees of Cross River state since 2015. We are indeed free now to demand for our rights. Comrades continue to stay at home and do not be intimidated”.