Wednesday, 13 May 2015

We will work with Ikon - AKHA Staff

We will work with Ikon - AKHA Staff
The last may not have  been heard from the  labour unrest that rocked Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly penultimate week.

THE INK scooped from a very reliable source that Joint Council of Trade Unions operating in the House of Assembly has distanced itself from false and misleading stories published in some newspapers circulating in the state alleging fraud as the cause of the unrest.

The Union Chairman, Comrade Samuel Effiong while speaking with some Assembly correspondents shortly after a meeting with the Honourable Speaker pointed out that, the major concern of unions operating in the Assembly is that of 35 percent legislative allowance and the approved salary structure and not anything related to fraud in the assembly.

He said such publication was the handiwork of those who want to hide under the cover of ‘union’ to disparage the office and person of Mr. Speaker maintaining that Joint Council of Trade Unions does not have any idea about the source of such libelous publication.

“The Joint Council of Trade Union has no idea about what was published in the papers, if a person has personal interest to write anything in the papers let him use his name and not any union in the House of Assembly and do that because the story in the papers did not come from staff of the Assembly, what we want the House of Assembly to do for us is in the areas of payment of legislative duty allowance, payment of approved salary structure and the issue of training which was hijacked from the House of Assembly to the Assembly service commission thereby denying us training for years. 

“For those who write in the papers that the present speaker has defrauded the House, we want to clarify ourselves that we do not know anything about it as our interest is in how the Speaker can help us push our demands some of which are older than the tenure of the present speaker to the right quarters. The circular that announced the new approved salary structure came more than six years ago” he declared. 

On the allegation that the Speaker formed the Joint Council of Trade Unions in order to cause disaffection among workers, Comrade Effiong said the umbrella body was not a new union but one that exist since 2001 when Comrade Essien Essien was the pioneer chairman.

This paper gathered that, the leadership of Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria in the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly had taken it upon itself to force the House leadership to implement the legislative duty allowance and the consolidated salary structure without carrying other unions along nor consult with the Joint Council of Trade Union in the Assembly who is expected to give direction in such instances. “Joint Council of Trade Unions is the mother body who should present grievances of staff to the leadership of the House instead of individual union going with their request to the speaker. This, Joint Council wants to put an end to with the permission of the speaker”.

It was also gathered that the Speaker, Elder Samuel Ikon in company of the Clerk and all the Management Staff during a meeting with Joint Council of Trade Unions last Friday, commended the mother union for bringing back sanity to unionism. “This is the approach to resolving issues, for the period left, I recognize Joint Council of Trade Unions in the House of Assembly as the body to deal with on issues raised by workers” he was quoted to have said at the meeting.

The speaker is said to have told staff through the Joint council that it will be to his advantage and credit if the issues raised by workers which he inherited as speaker, was finally addressed in his time.

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