By Alfred Agudiebube, Aba
Abia chapter of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), has warned Abia State government to recall the sacked 258 Abia Polytechnic staff of forget about any form of dialogue with them.
The state NLC Chairman, Mr Uchenna Obigwe, disclosed this in an interview with our reporter in Aba on Thursday.
Obigwe said that the state government had promised to set up a committee to “revisit and re-verify” the problems of Abia Poly workers.
He added that until the state government and management of the institution recall the sacked staff, the union will continue with the strike it declared in the school.
Obigwe said the government has not followed due process in its quest to rid the polytechnic of “unwanted” staff, stressing that the process is suspect hence it is shrouded in secrecy.
In his words, “You don’t wake and start to sack somebody who has not done anything in an office; We are not against government sacking the staff of the Polytechnic staff who forged certificates or who falsified records.
“Our grievance is against the sack of staff who have not had any query or committed any offense in the school since their employment and wake up and you say redundancy.
“Before you say redundancy, you must tell us the parameters you are using to determine redundancy.
“Abia does not have a Civil Service Commission for now and the civil service commission is the organ of government vested with the mandate of disciplining workers.
“And if you don’t have such organ for now what is the basis of your sacking civil servants?
“We have told the government and Abia Polytechnic management to recall sacked workers before we can send our representatives to talk with the committee they want to inaugurate to visit and re-verify those workers problems, that is our stand.”
Obigwe further said that by next week labour will unveil the rottenness in the institution which is causing hiccups stressing that it is not every worker that is causing problems for the school.
Also Chairman of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Polytechnics (SSANIP), Abia Polytechnic Chapter, Mr. Nwachukwu Chucks had condemned the sack of over 258 staff of the institution describing it as not conforming to rules.
Chucks said if the management of the institution had wanted to do things right, they would have waited for Abia House of Assembly Committee on the school to produce its Public Hearing report before sacking workers.
He said that the management was yet to address some issues raised by the committee which includes unremitted check-off dues collected from union members, sacking staff owed 16 months salaries.
The Rector, Prof. Ezionye Eboh had said that the exercise was a necessity which could not be overlooked if the institution was to restored to its past glory.
Eboh assured that every disengaged staff will receive all their entitlements soon adding they received three months arrears and one month in lieu of their discharge from service according to provisions of Nigeria’s Labour Act.
FROM THE TOWER OF TRUTH