Strike suffers set back in Ebonyi over poor compliance

Peter Okutu

10 January 2012, Sweetcrude, ABAKALIKI— Workers in Ebonyi State, Monday ignored directives of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) to embark on an indefinite strike to force the Federal Government to rescind its decisions of fuel subsidy removal.

Virtually all the ministries and parastatals in Abakiliki, the state capital, had their offices opened for work, considering the fact that some of the workers who embarked on strike in September 2011 were still begging to be paid their salaries.

The workers explained that the state governor’s state-wide broadcast on Sunday night, warning that the removal of the petrol subsidy was irrevocable and irreversible gave them the forewarning that observing the protest could cause them their jobs.

Accordingly, all the markets in the state capital, including the main market, Abakpa, were open and traders were seen transacting their businesses.

Banks in the area closed their gates but gave skeletal services to their major customers who could gain entrance through the back door, while other customers lined up at the ATM points.

The Ebonyi State chapter of the NLC and TUC in a statement by Acting Chairman, Caretaker Committee, NLC, Comrade Boniface Igweonwu and Chairman, TUC, Chief Elias Oduma, had said earlier that the resolution to join the strike was unanimously reached by all industrial unions, and it directed public servants and other well-meaning citizens to be part of the action.

The statement said: “It was unanimously resolved that all the industrial unions affiliate to the NLC and TUC in the state will on Monday, January 9, 2012, join their counterparts across the country in the said indefinite general strike, mass rallies and street protests in defence of the Nigerian people on fuel price increase and other related injustices meted against workers by government.

“Public servants, market women, mass transit operators, civil society organisations, other well-meaning Ebonyians and non-Ebonyians alike living in the state and indeed all and sundry are enjoined to be part of this liberation struggle”.

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