It’s been 10 days since the secretariat of the Nigeria Labour Congress was forceful shut down by agents of Rivers State government over claims of Structural evaluation test, the building is still under lock and key without any physical observation from the contractor, the government, or engineers who are supposed carry out the evaluation.
EWR Inquired to know why the building is still under lock and key and the following conversation ensued.
The Nigeria labour congress says the reason why it agreed to step down on the ultimatum to the rivers state government was due to the intervention by the national leadership of NLC AND TUC who came to mediate on behalf of the state chapter of the body.
The chairperson of NLC in Rivers State Comrade Beatrice ITUBO told our correspondent that the main issue why they want to give the ultimatum is because the Rivers state government didn’t want to reconvene the minimum wage committee, she said now that they have accepted they will reconvene other issues will be carried along and I think its most reasonable to respect our leaders who have come all the way from Abuja To intervene in this matter and also to give the state governor his respect allowing that promise he has made so that we can be able to come to the negotiation table, after all even the fiercest wars are won on the round table at the end of the day even if we embark on strike, we must still come to the round table , so now that there is a window, we want to explore that and also call on the rivers state governor to also do the needful so that we can meet and come out with reasonable position.
Question EWR- How soon are we are expecting this renegotiation to begin?
A: ITUBO: – the promise was this week, so we are still waiting, the week had just started yesterday so we are still waiting.
Q: EWR- YOUR Secretariat is still locked
A: – ITUBO: I have not been there, yesterday they said the place was not locked that they only closed it to perform an integrity test, that the contractor they are still owing him retention fee of 5%and that the norm is that after six months to one year, they go check if the building is still the way it is then they can now pay him otherwise if there are some defects they will now remedy them before they pay him. So I have not reached there I don’t know.
Q; EWR —SO YOUDONT KNOW IF THE SAID EVAULATION HAS BEEN CONDUCTED?
A: – ITUBO: They locked us so how would I know if the evaluation is ongoing or not, they called me one day to come and open offices so that they can check, I told them no, you have already locked it so do the evaluation the way you want it done at the end of the day when you finish, we can come, so we in our other secretariat,
Q: EWR – So what’s your message to the worker?
A: ITUBO- Actually I have gone across through the leadership of the unions to visit the members, and I want to also use this medium to tell our members to remain resolute to continue to keep faith with the leaders and put in their best in their places of work and also to be alert because the trouble is not over until its all over, until we have signed the agreement and see that workers are getting what they are supposed to get, promotions issues are addressed, incremental issues are addressed. Pension arrears are addressed. Gratuities are addressed that is when the troubles would be over but for now, they should be on their alert.