Despite several appeals by the Benue State government to the organized Labour not to embarked on industrial action, civil servants yesterday commenced a one week warning strike to demand home for their monthly salaries’ arrears and pension which according to them has accumulated for several months leaving untold hardship on civil servants.
The decision which was taken at an executive council meeting at the NLC secretariat in makurdi where the NLC chairman comrade Godwin Anya, TUC chairman comrade Ordue Tartenger as well as their counterpart in the joint negotiating councils Comrade Philip Nongo were in attendance,the organized Labour went extra mile in asking its members to stay away from work beginning yesterday after their meeting with governor Ortom who pleaded with them to show more understanding.
In an interview with Journalists the NLC boss comrade Anya ,said the days of playing hanky panky on the welfare of civil servants was over.
” the governor declared State of emergency on payment of salary, and for almost 4 months we are not seeing any tangible something, what we have seeing is screening exercise, so what we are appealing to the government is to shelve off every other thing and focus on this salary. we want to see government do something substantially so that we will know that government is also feeling the plight of the workers, holding meeting is one thing and doing something is another, all the meetings we have been holding with government have not yield any positive result. what we have continue to receive from government is appeal, that we should continue to manage the way we have been managing, yes we have actually appreciate the workers of the state for their patient that is the way we have been managing for more than two years, no reaction from workers and you know actually the people are suffering.”
According to the labour leader, the implication of the seven day strike is that this is just a warning, if it is not heed to the next action will be total.
Meanwhile as the strike action commenced, a group of retirees known as coalition of concerned pensioners have distance itself from the industrial action.
In an interview with Leader of the coalition, comrade Michael Vembeh told Journalists that the Local government pensioners would not support an action which he said is based on personal aggrandizement .