Emmanuel Ugwu-Nwogo in Umuahia
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Abia State, yesterday called off the strike embarked upon by Abia workers 19 days ago.
This was announced in a statement by the Chairman of Abia NLC, Pascal Nweke and Secretary, Emma Alozie after an emergency meeting of the state executives council(SEC) on Saturday.
The workers embarked on the industrial action on May 9 in protest against the Abia State Government for non-payment of salaries, pension arrears and gratuity and check-off dues to industrial unions.
But the news came less than 48 hours to the inauguration of a new government of the opposition Labour Party with Mr. Alex Otti as the incoming governor.
“As a law-abiding organisation and in recognition of the efforts of well-meaning Abians and in consultation with the national headquarters of Congress, SEC-in-Session resolved to suspend the strike action embarked upon on May 9.
“Consequently, all Abia workers are directed to resume all services hitherto withdrawn with immediate effect,” the statement read.
Abia workers had on May 9 resumed their industrial action which was suspended in February after five days of staying away from their duty posts.
However, the expected resolution of the workers grievances did not materialise as the outgoing government of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu could not meet the workers’ demands.
As the strike dragged on, there were concerns that the incoming administration would be welcomed with an industrial action which was sparked by the action of the outgoing government.
But after a delegation of Abia labour leaders visited the governor-elect, Otti on Friday signs appeared indicating that the strike would end before the inauguration of the new government.
The labour leaders led by the chairman of Abia NLC had after discussions with Otti told him that they would consult the national leadership of NLC and get back to him.
During the meeting with the labour leaders, Otti reiterated his campaign promise to prioritise the issue of salary payments as well as ensure that the arrears are cleared within the shortest time frame.