By Judex Okoro, Calabar
Barely four weeks after it declared a trade dispute with the government, organised labour in Cross River have suspended the strike action following intervention by the traditional rulers’ council led by HRH Etinyin Etim Okon Edet.
The NLC, TUC and the Joint Negotiating Council embarked on an industrial action to press home their 14-point demand.
Some of the demands include implementation of full 27.5% teachers enhancement allowance, stoppage of tax exemption and allowance for teachers, stoppage of annual incremental to both state and local government workers and return of payroll to both Accountant General and Ministry of Local Government Affairs for state and local government respectively.
Others include payment of salaries to workers wrongfully removed from local government payroll by the auditor general for local government, reinstatement of pensioners wrongfully removed from payroll and immediate stoppage of deductions from workers salaries for laptops without consent.
The suspension follows the intervention of the traditional institution in the state led by the Chairman of the Cross River State Traditional Rulers Council, HRH Etinyin Etim Okon Edet.
The leaders, during the negotiation, resolved that the government will be given 4 to 5 months to fully implement the agreements reached with them.
Speaking on the strike, the state chairman of the Joint Negotiations Council, Godwin Otei, said: ‘We are suspending the strike to see if the government will do the needful”.
The State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ben Ukpepi, said the industrial action was the longest in the history of the state and this shows the insensitivity of the government and commended the traditional institution for their intervention.
On his part, the state Chairman of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, Monday Ogbodum, said labour will watch and see how the government will live up to the expectations of both parties as contained in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).