Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Aggrieved workers have shut down the offices of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) nationwide to register their discontent with the inability of government to fulfill promises made to the workers as regards welfare and other related issues.
Unexpectedly, the action crippled official activities at the agency’s headquarters in Abuja, even as visitors and some other workers were locked out of their offices by the labour union officials.
Attempts by Daily Sun to reach the workers’ union representatives were unsuccessful, but NEMA spokesman, Sani Datti, confirmed the development, in a statement.
He was disappointed that in spite of sincere interventions by NEMA management, the workers chose the option of industrial action without prior notice.
He said, “Items on their list are being addressed sincerely. For instance, the Group Life Insurance for the staff has already been approved, in addition to Personal Accident Insurance that was designed to cover staff in the course of official engagement.
“We have told the staff repeatedly, that the issue of Emergency Responses Team allowances being canvassed by the union has no basis of approval from the Salaries and Wages Commission, and NEMA will not engage in illegality.”
NEMA spokesman further confirmed that the agency had initiated processes for new condition of service for staff which its Governing Council had approved.
He added, “The Council recently constituted establishment committee that would come up with recommendations. The committee had sat three times and had received necessary briefings. It will soon forward its report to the Council for consideration and approval.”
The agency reminded the staff that the strike is illegal and do not conform with labour law. It also described it as a deliberate attempt to sabotage the government.
It thus appealed the aggrieved workers to discontinue the strike, as the management was open for dialogue on any issues of concern to the staff.