The lecturers and workers of Abia State College of Education (Technical), Arochukwu (under COEASU, NASU AND SSUCOEN labour unions), will begin an indefinite strike action from Wednesday, 14 September, 2016 as the twenty-one-day ultimatum earlier given to the college management to pay them eight months of salary arrears had expired and another seven-day ultimatum given by the tripartite labour unions in the college (as listed above) will expire on Monday, 12 September, 2016 and which will lead to the strike action if the owed salary arrears were not paid by 04.00 pm on Tuesday, 13 September (after the public holidays on Monday, 12 September and Tuesday, 13).
In a telephone interview with the ASCETA branch chairman of the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union, COEASU, Dr Joseph Kanu on the issue, he had said that the strike action was inevitable since the lecturers and workers of the college had not been paid in the last eight months, and which had exposed them to various economic and social hardships occasioned by the lack of cash to spend on the necessities of life. He, therefore, explained that if the management of the college did not do anything to pay the arrears before then, the lecturers and workers of the college would embark on the strike in protest.
In a similar development, pensioners in Arochukwu have been groaning under unpaid pensions since March this year, in addition to the non-payment of three months’ salary arrears many workers of Arochukwu local government are owed.
In an interview with an official of Arochukwu branch of the Nigerian Union of Pensioners who pleaded anonymity, the pensioners pleaded with Abia state government to pay them their owed pensions ‘as the government goes ahead to provide free school meals and build roads. It should remember that only the living use good roads. The government should pay its workers as it builds roads too. It should not allow us to die while it goes ahead to build roads in Aba and provide free meals to school children whose teachers/parents are owed salary arrears and pension.’