By Felix Khanoba
It was a carnival of a sort on Tuesday when protesting workers mobilised a live band to disrupt activities at the head office of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Abuja.
The workers, ‘armed with various placards, danced to various soul-inspiring tunes rendered by the band and barricaded the only entrance to the office.
The Chairman of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Council of the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE), Comrade Aliyu Maradun, told newsmen that the union decided to picket SON over issues bordering on corrupt practices, irregular promotion and staff’s poor welfare.
“We are aware of people who were employed here and under six months they were promoted more than five times and there are people here who have spent 20 years stagnated.
“Some people are on secondment and have refused to go at the detriment of the people here who are supposed to occupy their positions,” he said.
The union’s leader called on anti-graft bodies in the country to beam their search light on the organisation.
But another union, Senior Staff Association of the Statutory Corporations and Government Owned Companies (SSASCGOC), dismissed the allegations by AUPCTRE, and described most of the workers that picketed the SON’s office as strangers.
“They are not our staff, and I think this is not good for you to bring people from outside to come and disrupt our process here.
“What our staff want is improved welfare and does not matter which of the unions will them the improved welfare,” Comrade Ayodele Folayan, President of SSASCGOC, SON Chapter, said.
Speaking further, Folayan said the picketing of Organisation was ill-conceived, while absolving the Director General of SON, Barr. Osita Aboloma of any blame.
“As for the management, they have been responsive. We have been getting from them 12 percent of CoS and 8 percent Productivity.
“We are saying we want more and they are ready to dialogue with the unions. The question is this, is it dialogue before picketing or picketing before dialogue?” Folayan queried.