The governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson, has threatened to sack any civil servant in the state who fails to resume for work on Monday as strike action by workers completely crippled government business last week.
Workers in the state commenced a strike action on Thursday to compel the Bayelsa government to pay four months’ salaries owed them. The action forced activities in public schools, commercial banks and state secretariat on to a halt on Friday.
In a broadcast on Sunday, the governor explained that the state was nearly broke because of dwindling revenue from the Federation Account and swore that any worker who does not work would not be paid.
Dickson, who referred to the strike as political and unpatriotic, said that he had explained to labour leaders in the state the true state of the government’s finances.
“This strike is unpatriotic, political and uncalled for because we are working to ensure that the salary arrears are cleared, we have an over bloated workforce and our wage bill is unwieldy at over N4 billion monthly.
“I have held several meetings with labour leaders and disclosed the revenue that we get for all to see, we have also offered to pay 50 per cent to ameliorate the sufferings but they turned it down
Continuing, the governor warned: “I am giving the workers up till Monday to resume work or they forfeit their salaries, it is no work, no pay and anyone that refuses to report for work on Monday should consider himself fired.”
An attempt by the Radio and Television Workers Union, RATAWU, to shut down the station to prevent the governor’s broadcast was thwarted by stern looking policemen who dispersed the angry workers
The Bayelsa State Commissioner for Information, Jonathan Obuebite, who accompanied the policemen, thereafter mobilised some workers who secured the station and prepared it for Dickson’s broadcast to the people.
However, regular programming was suspended by the station as soon as the governor finished his address as only music was played on the station for hours.