National Assembly Workers Vow To Begin Indefinite Strike
National Assembly workers have threatened to begin an indefinite strike on today, The Lawyer has learnt.
The Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) made this known in a statement in Abuja.
However, the management described the proposed industrial action as a product of misrepresentation and assumption, saying all efforts are being made to avert the strike.
PASAN, in a statement by the Chairman of PASAN, National Assembly Chapter, Comrade Sunday Sabiyi and his National Assembly Service Commission (NASC) counterpart, Comrade Ojemeri Oisamaye, said the indefinite strike has become necessary, following the failure of the management of the National Assembly to keep to the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) it entered with the workers on full payment of arrears of salary and allowances.
The statement reads: “Recall that the communique of the joint congress of the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria, NASC and NASS Chapters held on 28th March 2022 amongst other things, demanded the full implementation of the subsisting Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) jointly signed by the National Assembly Service, management of the National Assembly Service, and PASAN on the 13th of April, 2021 with the arrears for 2021 fiscal year paid to all categories of staff in the National Assembly Service not later than 31st May, 2022.
“Consequent upon the expiration of the deadline of 31st May 2022, the two chapters (NASC and NASS) of the Association held a Congress today (Thursday) 2nd June 2022 and resolved to embark on an indefinite strike commencing from 12 midnight on Sunday 5th June, 2022.”
In his reaction, the Special Adviser to the Clerk to the National Assembly on Media and Labour Matters, Austen Adesoro, described the proposed strike as uncalled for saying it was based on misrepresentation and assumption.
He lamented that while management has continued to demonstrate utmost good faith towards staff in terms of adequate welfare, some of the workers have taken it for granted by asking for additional unlawful allowances.
He insisted that management cannot go beyond the provisions of extant laws and circulars to pay unapproved allowances as being demanded by the workers.
He advised the staff to be patient, saying “management has expressed its willingness to pay all allowances at issue as soon as the Presidential Steering Committee on Salary, Income and Wages approves its request.”
He urged staff to be punctual at work and carry out their daily schedule without fear as management has put enough measures in place to ensure they are not intimidated or harassed by any person or group of persons while on duty.
He said that security agencies will be available to maintain law and order including ensuring that no lawful staff is denied access to the National Assembly to carry out their duties.
“In as much as the union has the right to protest, management has a duty to protect its law abiding staff and will not fold its arms and allow few elements to attempt to prevent or stop staff and visitors alike from accessing the legislative arm of government,” he said.
He said that management was already in talks with the leaders of the union and other relevant stakeholders in order to resolve all grey areas that may have led to their call for industrial action at this time.