For the third time this year, the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN), Anambra State chapter, has gone on strike, crippling activities in all the courts in the state.
The strike followed the inability of the Anambra State government to keep to its earlier agreement with the union before the last strike was suspended.
The union had suspended its second strike about three months ago when it reached an agreement with the state government to pay the workers the Consolidated Judiciary Salary Structure (CONJUSS).
Government did not honour the agreement, with the Head Of Service (HOS) allegedly telling JUSUN that the state was not in the mood to discuss such issues now.
All the courts in the state have been shut to press home the demands of the union.
Apart from other scheduled cases in the courts, the National Assembly election petitions tribunal in the state could not sit as a result.
Anambra State chairman of (JUSUN), Mark Ifezue, said that notice was given last Friday indicating the indefinite strike.
He said the union’s letters to Governor Willie Obiano through the Attorney-General of the state on the situation were ignored by government.
“We have no other option than to proceed on this strike because we have done our best to accommodate the state government in all our programmes.
“In 2011, the state government offered five percent to JUSUN promising to review it (CONJUSS). In 2014 again we wrote to the government so that our salary could be at par with other states in the country, without any favourable response.
“The head of service told us that the state is not in the mood to discuss such thing now and that was when we knew that nothing was in the offing,” Ifezue said.
A lawyer who pleaded for anonymity, said the Obiano administration was not willing to discuss such now, as the state was battling with severe economic crunch.
He said: “Look at the projects in the state, including the ones left by former Governor Peter Obi, none is going on, everything is at a standstill.
“Obiano should be open to tell the people the truth, this state is in trouble,” the lawyer said.