Saturday, 23 May 2015

NLC in Rivers Says Strike Still Ongoing, Calls on Members to Boycott LG Election

Factional leader of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) in Rivers State led by Prince Ada Willams has declared that the strike called to protest non-payment of salary and allowances of state workers has not been suspended.
Williams said this in reaction to a statement issued by the other factional leader of the NLC in the state, Beatrice Otuba, calling on workers to return to work.

He said the purported suspension of the strike as announced by Otuba was a plot to create confusion amongst the NLC members.
He advised NLC members to sustain the ongoing strike. 

The other factional leader, Otuba had said that there was no need for the strike as government had commenced the payment of workers’ salaries.

Meanwhile, some members of the NLC under Williams’ leadership who had on Friday morning gathered at the state secretariat in obedience to the strike he called were chased away by security men. 

While speaking on a radio programme Williams said: “the strike is very active and effective and nobody was actually chased away by the security agents. What really happened was that the police came under the guise of one Eme who is the security consultant to the government and they forcefully opened the gate of the secretariat. Of course without knowing that all the offices were under lock and key. So when we heard of the action, the workers them mobilised to the secretariat and gathered in the holy ground and I as the chairman who ordered for this strike went there to address them. 

“We have made them to know that the strike continues. On Monday we will come out in full and ensure that this strike is more effective. Meanwhile, we have also directed that tomorrow (Saturday) there is election and no worker should come out to vote, because no worker would want to vote with hunger," he added.

Asked why he was insisting on the strike when a statement by Otuba implied that that state government had begun the payment of salaries, he said: “that is a deceit. She is not even a representative of workers. She is very not correct because workers have not been paid fully of their March salary talk more of April. She is lying and not being sincere to the workers of the state,” Williams said.

He said that although local government elections were going to take place today (Saturday), that the workers have the right to boycott the election. 

“We have the right to boycott the election, and that is why I am urging the workers who believe in my own administration that they should sit at home. There is nothing we should do with this government because the government is insensitive to out plight.  We have the right to protest over what we are not alright with. What we are saying is these monies they are using to conduct this election would have been rechanneled to the payment of workers.

“Workers are hungry and you have the money to pay them instead you are using it to play politics. You want to use it to go to tribunal which is not very important or useful to us. We are not piling up problems for the incoming government but letting him know this is our challenges and that he should take the welfare of workers seriously,” he added.

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