Friday 3 March 2023

How NLC Strike Enforcement Team Threw Lawyers, Civil Servants Out Of Offices In Abia

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The action according to Abia State chapter of NLC, was to protest the non-payment of workers in agencies of the State.

 Abia State

It was drama and confusion that took over Umuahia, the Abia State capital  on Wednesday.

The drama happened after civil servants in many offices were prevented from gaining access into their offices by members of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC.

Many others who were already seated for work were chased out of their offices by the visiting NLC team.

The action according to Abia State chapter of NLC, was to protest the non-payment of workers in agencies of the State.

During the strike enforcement exercise, Abia State Court complex along Ikot- Ekpene road in Umuahia was sealed by the NLC, rendering Judges and Lawyers stranded.

Judiciary workers, plaintiffs and defendants were also stranded outside the gate of the Court.

At Abia State Secretariat in Umuahia, the NLC also drove many workers away from offices, ordering them to go home in respect of the strike directive.

The situation paralysed activities in many government ministries and parastatals as many files were not attended to.

To counter the strike challenge, Abia State government obtained a Court injunction restraining NLC from continuing the strike.

But the Abia State chapter of NLC in reaction to the Court injunction, insisted that strike would go ahead.

In a statement circulated to all affiliate unions and their leaders , the organised labour urged Abia civil servants to disregard the Court injunction.

The message signed by Comrsde Emma Alozie for for NLC Chairman read in part :

“The report reaching the State Council of Congress has it that the Abia State Govt., claimed they obtained a court injunction stopping Abia Workers from embarking on any form of rally in the state.

“Let it be on record that till moment, the state council of Congress has not been issued with any court order/injunction. I am therefore directed to inform all affiliate unions, union leaders in Abia and entire Abia workers that the earlier scheduled strike action as kicked off on Monday, 27th February 2023, subsists and the rally sacrosanct and non negotiable.”

But a visit to Abia State High Court main complex on Thursday morning showed that some judiciary staff were trickling into Court premises as according to them, a directive from Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria, JUSUN, Abia State chapter told them to resume on Thursday.

Similarly, some workers at Abia State Secretariat in Umuahia feared that their salaries may be withheld if they participate in the strike.

A senior staff in one of the Ministries at Abia State Secretariat who simply identified himself as Ibe, told Daily Post,

”You know the State government banned strike in December 2022, declaring No work, No pay and in protection of my job and salary, I decided to disregard the NLC instructions.”

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