Judiciary Workers in Ebonyi State, on Thursday, embarked on an indefinite strike to drive home their demand for improved welfare packages.
The strike was to compel the State Government to implement the Consolidated Judiciary Salary Structure, a demand which they have been making since 2015.
Correspondent reports that the strike crippled the state judiciary services as no court proceeding held at the State High Court and the court was under lock and key.
However, Some Police officers were also seen at the gate possibly to protect the facility.
Recall that the workers had about three weeks ago issued a 14-day ultimatum and added seven days grace period to demand that the State Government commenced the implementation of the Consolidated Judiciary Salary Structure (CJSS) or face the industrial action.
National president of the union, Comrade Lawal Mustapha represented by the Vice President of Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (South East Zone), Comrade Mark Ifezue, said that the National leadership mandated the workers to withdraw their services pending the implementation of the wage structure.
He said, “I’m in Ebonyi State to show solidarity with the workers of Ebonyi State Judiciary over their problem with the State Government that bothered on the implementation of the State Judiciary salary.
“This salary package worked out for all judicial workers in Nigeria, both at federal and at the State level.
“Virtually, all the states in Nigeria are implementing the salary package but Ebonyi State has refused to do that and the workers have been on the struggle since 2015 to date and nothing positive has come out of it. So this time around, they decided to start the hustle again and we are here to give them support.
“I am here as a messenger of the National President of the group, Comrade Lawal Mustapha.
“We have had series of meetings with the State Government. For instance, in 2015, there was an agreement between the union and the State Government but unfortunately, the State Government reneged on that agreement. Then after that, there have been series of meetings, series of consultations with the governor.
“The governor had once invited the EXCO of the branch and mandated them to go to other states in the Southeast and other neighbouring states to get samples of what they earn as salaries which they’ve done.
“The committee set up by the governor to my knowledge has worked out their reports and submitted same to the governor but unfortunately, the state government still refused to act on the committee’s report.
“So we have no other option than to make use of the available weapon and that is ‘withdrawing our services’ and that’s what I have directed Ebonyi State Judiciary Workers to do immediately the ultimatum given to the State Government expired.
“The 14 days has since elapsed. The Chief Judge in my meeting asked for another seven (7) days which I obliged him, the seven days has now elapsed. So at the expiration of that seven days, I have no option than to direct the workers to stay at home and withdraw their services”.