Judex Okoro, Calabar
The organised labour in Cross River State has issued Governor Ben Ayade a seven day ultimatum to pay the new minimum wage or face industrial crisis.
In a statement released in Calabar on Thursday and signed by Comrades Julius Nkoij and John Odey as Chairman and Secretary Public Service Negotiating Council, PSNC, respectively, the union regretted that the government has been very non-committal with regard to new minimum wage.
According to the statement, the labour leaders also regretted the breakdown of minimum negotiation and wondered what the governor is up to even when he promised during election that he would pay once the Federal Government concludes their own side of the bargain.
The statement reads in apart: “Following the breakdown of minimum wage negotiation and the refusal of the government to implement promotions of civil/public servants deactivated from the payroll from September 2019, the organised labour at a meeting resolved to issue to government a 7-day ultimatum effective Friday, 21, 2010 to Thursday, February 27, 2020 to address above raised issues.
“Failure to attend to these issues on or before the mid-night Friday, February 27, 2020, we have no other option than to embark on industrial action forthwith to Press home our demands.”
In an interview with some cross section of the workers in the state, they said the strike is long over due as the Governor does not keep to his promise.
A worker, Justine Ogbogang, said during campaigns Governor Ayade boasted that he would be the first to pay the new take home once the Federal Government concludes negotiation with labour.
Ogbogang, who works in one of the agencies in the new ministry of Aviation’ said the moment the federal government came up with the new formula he started singing another song and even threatening to sack more workers if they continued to disturb over the new wage.
Another worker at the Calabar South Local Governemnt, Ekanma Asuquo, said it is a pity that we are being treated as if it is an offence to ask for a better pay.
“We are behind our leaders and shall down tools accordingly if the government refuses to listen to us. No going back” she stated.