Aggrieved workers under their umbrella union, the Nigerian Labour Congress, Cross River State chapter yesterday shunned the Chief of Staff (CS) to the Governor, Mr. Martins Orim, as they picket the Office of the Accountant General of the state during their protest.
The protesting members of the NLC had as early as 6am yesterday blocked the Accountant General’s Office over deductions from workers’ salaries which they claimed were not being remitted to the bank for those who took loans from different banks, as well as the refusal of the Accountant General to remit money deducted for housing purpose to the Mortgage Banks.
However, the Accountant- General of the state, Mr. Joseph Adie, had on Monday met with the labour leaders, promising that he was going to look into their case and that “before the end of the day, something tangible would be done about it.” According to the state Chairman of NLC, Comrade Ben Ukpebi, the workers decided to go home with a pledge to return on Tuesday to hear from the Accountant General. “We arrived here today (Tuesday) only to realise that the Accountant General did not do anything.
So, we are picketing his office and we will not listen to anybody until they meet our demands,” Ukpebi said. Meanwhile, as they assembled at the gate of the office, the Chief of Staff came out to address the workers, but they ignored him and insisted that the governor should attend to their case.
However, the Chief of Staff was said to have later arranged a meeting between the labour leaders and the governor by 11am, where the governor promised to expedite action on the workers’ demands. Investigations by New Telegraph revealed that the Office of the Accountant- General had been deducting the salary of workers who took loans from the various banks, but never remitted such deductions to the affected banks, even as deductions for housing schemes were not also remitted to the mortgage banks.