Abakaliki - The Ebonyi Government and the organised labour in the state have started negotiations to end the ongoing strike embarked upon by the latter.
The unions embarked on the strike on March10 due to the government’s inability pay the September 2011 workers salary withheld due to a strike embarked by workers during the period.
The workers are also demanding the implementation of the statutory minimum wage structure approved
for workers in the country by the Federal Government.
Labour leaders in the state who had shunned earlier meetings called by the government to settle the issue, made themselves available for negotiation with the government on Wednesday.
The first phase of the meeting which started at about 2 p.m. lasted for several hours before being reconvened,
to enable the labour leaders to study the government’s presentation on the issue.
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Ikechukwu Nwafor, the Chairman of the state's Joint Public Service Negotiating Council (JPSNC), told newsmen that the government presented a prepared salary chart for workers which the labour leaders wanted to study.
"We are going to study the document to determine if it is in tandem with our request, as this will enable us make adequate presentation to the government.
"We would soon get back to the government once we take our stand on the issue and would make our position public.”
Nwafor denied insinuation in several quarters in the state that the PDP Gubernatorial Candidate, Dave Umahi, was sponsoring the strike.
We have gone beyond issues concerning any sponsorship of the strike; workers will not hesitate to support any individual that will grant them all their rights and entitlements in the state.
"Workers in the state have suffered a lot as a result of poor salaries and other entitlements; we have
even sought God’s intervention to ameliorate our plight,” he said.