FHA Staff Association Begins 3-Day Warning Strike
The Federal Housing Authority (FHA) staff under Senior Staff Association of Statutory Corporations and Government Owned Companies, on Monday, began a three-day warning strike over FHA’s refusal to conduct promotion interviews since 2011.
The General Secretary of the union, Mr Ayo Olorunfemi said in Abuja, that the strike became necessary due to FHA management’s refusal to promote deserving workers since 2011.
Olorunfemi noted that the workers were also not happy with the management over its implementation of anti-workers’ policies.
“The workers have no other choice than to embark on the warning strike after series of notices to the management without sincere response.’’
He also accused the Federal Government of deliberately denying workers in the agency opportunity to rise above certain grade level, by appointing political appointees into positions that should be occupied by career civil servants.
The unionist also frowned at the employment of retired workers of the agency to fill positions that should be occupied by those in service.
He also accused the management of not paying outstanding housing allowances to members of staff on grade levels 14 and above.
According to Olorunfemi, the management also refused to remit statutory deductions from the salaries of members of staff to the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and the National Housing Fund (NHF).
He said that they had been denied access to health care and housing as a result of this.
The union leader also said that the management of the agency had also not remitted tax deductions from workers salaries to the appropriate agency of government, thereby, denying them tax clearance receipts.
Reacting to the allegations, the Managing Director of FHA, Prof. Mohammed Al-Amin, said there was no basis for the strike as all their demands had almost been met.
According to him, the management has met 70 percent of the demands of the workers, borrowing money from its capital vote to pay deductions for NHIS and other deductions as well as the housing allowances.
He disclosed that promotion for senior members of staff could only be approved by the board of the agency, which did not exist at the moment.
He said the agency had set in motion machinery to ensure that the position of a General Manager was occupied by civil servants and not political appointees.
Al-Amin said that the remaining part of their demands required ministerial approval which it was waiting to secure.
The managing director explained that the reforms carried out in the agency before his assumption of office, removed it from government budget and slated it for privatisation.
According to the FHA boss, the agency is awaiting a ministerial approval to carry out the exercise, as they hoped to achieve this before the end of the year.
– PM NEWS