Health workers in Rivers State have embarked on an indefinite strike. The strike was at the instance of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), the umbrella bodies for all public service workers in the state.
According to the union leadership, the strike action was due to the governor’s refusal to pay the agreed minimum wage of N30,000 in the state.
The strike commenced on Wednesday, March 25, the same day the state recorded its first case of the novel coronavirus.
In a circular sent to its members, the leadership of the Nigerian Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress asked the workers to stay off work indefinitely.
In an interview with the cable, the leaders had complained of the governor making other payments without negotiating with the union.
“In January, he paid some money to some workers N20,000, others N15,000 and so on. We can’t accept this.
“Labour asked the template he used to arrive at such because he had not concluded negotiations with the organised labour but there was no response.”
They also added that the government had not paid pensioners for some months, and had also excluded staff of tertiary institutions (universities and polytechnics) from the list of workers to enjoy the minimum wage.
Meanwhile, the state Commissioner for information, Paulinus Nsirim has said there is a court injunction stopping the union from embarking on strike.
There is no response from the union on this, nor any information about when they would return to work.