WorldStage Newsonline– Activities were disrupted today at the headquarters of Standards Organisation of Nigerian (SON) in Abuja, as staff of the organization took to the street to protest what they termed inadequate welfare condition.
The workers under the aiges of Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees began the protest at about 7a.m demanding immediate payment of salary arrears.
Members of the union were seeing carrying various placards blocking the entrance of the SON headquarters.
SON’s Head of Public Relations, Bola Fashina explained that the management was already aware of the situation as well as the issues raised by the union, while assuring that they will be amicably resolved.
Chairman of AUPCTRE, FCT Chapter, Aliyu Maradun urged the management to stop all acts of intimidation and victimisation of its members.
According to him, “We are picketing because of some infringement institutionalised by the management of SON. The first is that they want to deny people freedom of association.
“A bonafide member contested an election under the union platform, they refused to recognise him, instead they transferred him out to Oshogbo. We told them you don’t transfer union executive and officials until they server out their tenure.
“We have been struggling with them to see reason to restore him back, until recently when they saw the other side of the union before they brought him back.
“They are coercing people to move away from our union to un-existing union that they want to pocket and control.”
The demands of the union includes: immediate withdrawal of all circulars and memos issued by SON Management to coerce AUPCTRE members to forcibly renounce their membership of AUPCTRE to join a management preferred Union.
“Immediate payment of salary arrears of staff employed in 2016 and the 2018 promotion arrears; immediate reversal of illegal promotion of some of the staff employed in 2016 from CONRAISS 8 to CONRAISS 12, CONRAISS 7 to CONRAISS 11, CONRAISS7 to CONRAISS 10 and CONRAISS 8 to CONRAISS 9 within 4months of their resumption at the Director General’s discretion, among others.”
Meanwhile, the President of Senior Staff Association of Statutory Corporations and Government Owned Companies, SON chapter, Ayodele Folayan has condemned picketing of SON by the protesters, claiming that outsiders were brought in to distrupt the normal activities of the organisation, while insisting that what SON staff need is improved welfare condition.
Folayan said: “This Protest is uncalled for, there is already a process going on. For example on the 7th of May 2018, my union held a meeting with the management concerning the welfare of members. And they agreed to reconstitute the CSO committee to look into how they can improve the welfare of the staff. Already they have done somethings; for instance the 12% we are earning right now and also 8 percent on productivity.
“You don’t come with a letter on Tuesday that you are going to do picketing on Wednesday, what time have you given to the management to respond to the issues you have raised?”
He said the management had written a letter for dialogue on the issues been raised and the management had said the issue of arrears will be solved as soon as the Budget is been passed.
Meanwhile, the aggrieved union had promised to embark on an indefinite strike if their demands were not met.