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South Sudan: Striking Parliamentary Staff Suspended for Three Months

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South Sudan Parliament Building

At least ten of the support staff at the national legislature who went on strike over delayed incentives recently have been suspended for three months without pay.

The suspension comes after the clerk demanded a written explanation from each of them on why they went on strike early this month.

The dissident staff were slapped with the unpaid suspension after they objected to give individual explanation, and instead chose to write the letter as a group.

The head of the workers Union at the national parliament, Youhana Wala Juma confirmed their suspension.

“Today they have issued a letter of suspension of ten out of thirteen members, it started with me as head of the union Youhana Walla Juma, Louis Christopher, Simon AKot, Sunday Joseph, Mohamed Mogga, Emmanuel Keijo, Kennedy Samuel, Kalemntina Poni and Mary Juan,” Youhana said.

“We are shocked by a letter from the office of the secretary-general of the national legislature summoning some people. We already told him the explanation cannot be individual based, because we are the leadership of the workers union, and if there is anything we are the one responsible for the workers,” he said.

According to the letter the group wrote, their meeting on the 6th of June was organized as a workforce briefing chaired by the R-TNLA workers union.

The union, a registered body under the national Workers Union maintains that the briefing was to share the outcome of the meeting and not a strike.

However, they explained that the Deputy Speaker for Administration and Finance at the parliament quickly called the police on suspicion that the staff were planning to go on strike, resulting in the deployment of security personnel.

Meanwhile, in a letter dated Friday last week, the august house clerk Makur Makuc Ngong wrote that the group’s response was not satisfactory explanation.

Ngong then ordered for their three-month suspension without pay and also banned them from accessing the parliament premises.

“Those are the ten people who have been suspended for three months without pay and even not to enter the parliament compound, the reason they say was why we responded to the explanation as a group and supposed to be individual,’ said the head of the workers union.

The suspended staff are all members of the R-TNLA Workers Union.

Eye Radio’s attempts to reach the secretary general of the national parliament were not immediately successful.

However, the R-TNLA Workers Union said it will address the matter to the South Sudan Workers Union Federation.

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