Public sector workers in Ebonyi, under the aegis of Trade Union Congress (TUC), resumed work on Monday after a three-day warning strike.
Ikechukwu Nwafor, the chairman of the union in the state, told reporters in Abakaliki, capital of Ebonyi, that the suspension of the strike was in compliance with extant labour laws.
He said the warning strike was to draw government’s attention to workers’ grievances, namely the payment of the seized September 2011 salaries because of their participation in the 2011 industrial action in the state and the implementation of the 18 per cent minimum wage.
Nwafor, however, warned that the workers would embark on an indefinite strike should the state government fail to meet their demand within the stipulated seven days.
“You are aware that labour declared a three-day warning strike which commenced on January 21 and ended January,” he said.
“You may also recall that before the warning strike, we issued a 21-day ultimatum to the government in December 2014 which was ignored by the government.
“The TUC is a law-abiding labour organisation and will follow laid down rules guiding industrial actions.
“We have directed our members to go back to their various duty posts while a fresh seven-day ultimatum has been given to the government to meet all the demands raised by the union.”
He said that a joint government-labour committee led by Boniface Eziagu, the auditor-general of the state, had been inaugurated to assess the cost implication for the payment of the minimum wage to the workers.
Nwafor said the government had directed the state’s ministries, departments and agencies to compile the lists of their staff whose September 2011 salaries were seized because of their participation in the industrial action.
“The organised labour is hopeful that the government will spare the state the agony of an indefinite strike by fast-tracking the process of meeting our genuine demands,” he said.
“If by the end of the ultimatum, which commenced on Monday, and all the issues raised by the union are not resolved, we will direct our members to proceed on an indefinite strike.”
He commended the workers for their support and steadfastness and urged them to remain resolute in the union’s pursuit of their legitimate demands.