The Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN), Nasarawa State Chapter, has on embarked on an indefinite strike starting from 12am on Saturday following the state’s Chief Judge’s failure to meet their demands on welfare issues.
The Chairman of the union, Jimoh Musa made the disclosure in an interview with newsmen in Lafia, at the weekend.
Comrade Musa, said the decision to embark on the strike action was reached at a congress meeting held on Friday, is due to thee refusal of the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Suleiman Dikko to address their demands.
“We reached a consensus at the congress that if the management of the High Court headed by the Chief Judge of the state do not comply with all our demands put across to him that has been lingering before 12am today, we will resume indefinite strike.
“So technically as i speak to you, we have commenced the strike but it is on Monday the state will feel the impact. We have been too patient and tried hard to avoid this last resort but we have no choice but to press home our demands,” He said.
Musa said some of the union’s grievances included non conversion or promotion of workers who went for further studies legitimately for the past four years and the inordinate reduction of workers salaries to the tune of N4.7 million monthly without any clear explanations given.
“We tried to resolve the issue amicably and not wash our dirty linen outside but he refused to listen. For the past four years, our workers get released properly to educate themselves. They go to school, come back but instead of them to be converted and promoted, the chief judge turns deaf ears on that.
“We have workers who have read law with their LL.B, Masters degrees and so on but remained redundant. Secondly, he has been slashing workers salaries for over two years now to the tune of N4.7 million monthly without any clear explanations,” He said.
He added that the union was also against the current method of promotion of staff whereby judicial workers, unlike in the past are mandated to write an examination and garner 60 percent of the scores before getting the promotion.
“In the past in the judiciary, we are rated by your annual performance but now he introduced the writing of examinations before interview. Even that exam, you must get 60 percent as pass mark. In other institutions, it is 40 percent. So he treats the judiciary the way he likes.
“We have resolved that we will not continue to tolerate his high handedness and the way he is handling the judiciary in the state because prosperity will judge us if we keep quiet and leave the system.
“And this strike is solely on the management of High court and the Chief Judge in particular. It has nothing to do with the governor of Nasarawa state because the governor has been keeping faith with us by providing all we want. He has been paying us regularly. So this is an in house cleansing,” He said.
Musa added “I don’t think there is any hope for reconciliation because we gave him a fresh ultimatum as required by labour law, 21 days notice, not minding that this matter has been pending for long. He didn’t do anything.
“We gave another 7 days notice which elapsed today by 12am. So definitely we know and have agreed that even if there is any call for discussion between today and Sunday, we will recall our congress on Monday, at the venue of the strike. If there is nothing, the strike hits the ground in full force. By that Monday, there will be total shutdown.” he said.