By RICHARD NDOMA |
Organised Labour ( Trade Union Congress and Nigeria Labour Congress), Cross River State branch, yesterday, shunned celebration of workers’ May day, and called on Gov Ben Ayade of Cross River State and security operatives to expedite action in the rescue of abducted NLC Chairman, Comrade Ben Ukpekpi, who had been in kidnappers’ den since March 21, 2021.
Ukpepi was taken hostage by his abductors since March 21, 2021 at his CROSPIL estate residence by unknown gunmen at about 8:30 pm and taken to an unknown destination.
A solemn assembly was organised by leaders of the labour unions at the survival park, Calabar, where thousands of labour union members converged to express their anger over the state governor’s inability to rescue abducted NLC Chairman.
In a speech delivered by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Vice Chairman, Comrade Lawrence Achuta Esq, and Trade Union Congress (TUC) Chairman, Comrade Monday Ogbodum, they called for payment of gratuities to retirees, suspension of automatic transition to pension payroll.
“We appeal to Cross River State government to restore this system that has served the state so well for many years.There is no sense in compounding the woes of retirees”, the union leaders maintained.
Other issues mentioned by the labour leaders include, implementation of promotions, payment of balance of national minimum wage, remittances of deductions from workers’ salaries to beneficiaries, financial autonomy for judiciary and legislature.
Other issues tackled by the union leaders include, ban on payment of union dues by commercial drivers and tricycle operators, return of motor parks to NURTW, return of weigh-in-allowances to radio, television, theatre arts and paper printing workers in the state.
“Comrades, ladies and gentlemen, we are in no mood for celebration. We have been dealt with a heavy blow and may be down, but I want to assure all civil/ public servants that we are not out.”