Workers shut public offices in Cross River

The strike embarked on by state and local government workers in Cross River State on Tuesday paralysed the judiciary and other public institutions.

The gates of the state judiciary headquarters on Mary Slessor Avenue in Calabar were shut while lawyers, judges and litigants could not enter the complex.

Lawyers at the gates declined to comment on the strike, which took some of them unawares.

Public schools were also shut and students asked to return home, likewise, the old and New secretariats were also locked.

Labour leaders were seen going round to enforce and monitor compliance.

The workers were protesting against alleged anti-worker policies by the Prof. Ben Ayade-led government.

Reacting to the strike, Special Adviser to Governor Ben Ayade on Labour Matters, Comrade Effiong Ita Umoh, said it was wrong for labour to embark on strike action without exhausting all avenues to resolve the issues.

He said, “Labour couldn’t have called out its members to down their tools and cripple activities of the state government without any court order to do so.

“Most of the items in their list had already been met, except gratuity. Labour gave us three days warning on Thursday, so we asked them to sit down but they refused, saying that they won’t sit down for anything and they walked out. We have not yet exhausted all avenues.”

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