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HomeNewsUDOM THREATENS LABOUR LEADERS WITH TRANSFERS

UDOM THREATENS LABOUR LEADERS WITH TRANSFERS

Government Decision Repugnant to ILO Cudom-2onventions-Khalil

Tony Asuquo

Akwa Ibom State Government is allegedly cracking down on labour leaders in recent times, following the transfer of service of the State Chapter President of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Mr Martins Usen for confronting government on the welfare of workers.

Investigation revealed that, Mr Usen is embattled for fighting to preserve the dignity and cause of workers.

Problem it was learnt, started when the leadership of NULGE in the first quarter of 2016, asked the state government to honour the agreement it reached with the union to settle some outstanding issues bordering on salaries and emoluments of serving and retired council workers in the state.

When it became clear that, government was turning deaf ear to their plight, workers within the local government employ resorted to a peaceful protest across the state in order to get government attention.

The state government, irked by the workers position decided to deal with the State NULGE President, by transferring him to the state civil service as director in October, without his consent. The ploy was to clip his wings, thereby making the labour movements in the state weak and defenceless.

Head of the Civil Service, Mrs Ekereobong Akpan was not available at press time to comment on the development, as she was said to be having a meeting.

National President of NULGE, Mr Ibrahim Khalil has condemned Akwa Ibom government’s decision for transferring the State chapter President to the State Civil Service saying, the move lacked merit and repugnant to the international labour conventions.

‘‘By the civil service rule, nobody can transfer your service from one service to another without your consent. You must initiate it willingly by writing to government that, you want to transfer your service from one particular service be it local government to state, local government to federal and or state to local government service but, what we are seeing here is alien to the civil service in Akwa Ibom State.

‘‘So, it is the first time we are hearing this and, I have personally tried to engage the state government on it’’.

The state government decision to transfer the sitting President of a union from the local government service to the state he said, is to weaken the union because, he is more for the interest of the local government workers in the state declaring the government decision as lacking merit and extant trade union labour Act in Nigeria.

The action contradicts the provision of Labour Act of Nigeria, which is the reaffirmation of the International Labour Organization Convention 87 and 88; which provided for the independence of every union to operate as a union without the encroachment of employers of government.

‘‘There is no state government, even the Federal Government in Nigeria as at today, that is not owing workers salary. We have salary issues across all states of the federation and so, it is not alien to Akwa Ibom State adding that, Mr Martins Usen remains NULGE President of Akwa Ibom State, as the purported Lady Anestina Iweh was never elected and will remain the Deputy President’’, he stated.


 

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