Staff of Delta state house of assembly on Tuesday shutdown the assembly complex over poor staff welfare
– They prevented lawmakers, political aides and other assembly commission staff from accessing their offices
– They complain of the house leaders insensitivity to their plight as they care only for themselves, neglecting the welfare of the staff
Workers at the Delta State House of Assembly under the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) on Tuesday resumed indefinite strike over poor staff welfare.
They shut the 29 lawmakers out of the assembly complex, accusing them of insensitivity and wickedness to their plights.
Accordingly, the entrance to the assembly complex in Asaba was sealed-off as the workers’ union prevented vehicular movement and human movements into the complex.
The sitting that was billed for Tuesday was disrupted as the lawmakers could not gain access into the chamber.
PASAN Chairman, Comrade Edozie Emmanuel said that the workers had to resume the suspended strike action because the Assembly leadership, including the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Monday Igbuya, “failed to fulfill the promises made to the workers.
He said: “We say pay us our 2016 wardrobe allowance and appoint a deputy clerk for us. That position has been vacant since 2015. It has created a vacuum; we are being stagnated in our career in the Assembly Service commission.
“The promises made were not fulfilled. None has been fulfilled. The clinic as we talk now is dead. This is despite the promises made.
“We had suspended the strike because we thought they were telling us the truth. But up till now, the money has not been paid; the issue of deputy clerk has not been resolved.
“We have communicated our resolution to resume the suspended strike to the leadership of the Assembly.”
He expressed surprise at the attitude of the leadership of the assembly, which he lamented saying “they have refused to dialogue with the workers’ union despite several efforts made to engage it.
“They ignored us, saying that they are not responsible to us.”
He said that while the legislators get their allowances and entitlements with ease, the entitlement of the workers is no importance to them.
“The Speaker is insensitive and adamant to our requests and plight of the workers. He does not pick the phone when calls are made to him,” Comrade Emmanuel said, adding: “All is not well in the Delta state House of Assembly.
“For minor work that the workers are employed to do, they prefer to bring in outsiders to come and do them. We are not calling off this strike until our demands are fully met,” Comrade Emmanuel said.
But Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker, Henry Ebireri, rose in stout defense of the leadership of the house, saying the speaker has been defending the interest of workers of the assembly.
He said the assembly workers are antagonistic to the leadership of the house, insisting that their posture against the house leadership was not a good one.
He said: “The issuance of warrant for outfit allowance is not the responsibility of the speaker nor the leadership of the house. In spite of the current financial crunch, the state is up to date in its obligation to the assembly workers.
“It is appalling that the workers locked all the entrances to the assembly complex and the commission, thus barring commission members, political aides and others from entering their offices for normal work over outfit allowances, a matter that is receiving attention from the state government.”