Oyo workers isssue 24-hour deadline on pay arrears
A mother of all strikes seems imminent in Oyo State. Reason: The state chapter of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has issued a 24-hour ultimatum to the state government to defray salary arrears of workers, threatening industrial action if its demand remained unmet at the expiration of the ultimatum.
The state NLC chairman, Waheed Olojede who handed down the threat yesterday while addressing reporters in Ibadan, said the union would convoke an executive council meeting today where it would make its position known to members.
“You will recall that on March 29, the entire labour union in Oyo State, comprising NLC, Trade Union Congress (TUC) and Joint Negotiation Council held a meeting where we expressed our displeasure with the insensitivity of government to the plight of workers. Before then we have sent three letters to the government, but only one was replied where government did not show a sense of concern and that was why we issued a seven-day ultimatum.
“Government responded to the ultimatum by inviting us for a meeting on March 31 and we presented our position that now that salaries of the workers in the state have fallen short of five months, it is becoming hard for our members to survive. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) we signed with the government earlier on was no longer working for our interest, we both mutually agreed that workers should be paid 90 per cent of federal allocation but that has become obsolete and we need a review.
“We cannot wait again for the salaries of workers to be falling into arrears and breakdown.”When we met the government representative, the governor was not there, it showed that they lack the capacity to give us the answers to our demand. At the last meeting we had on Monday, April 4, some of the decisions taken were that the money in government coffers should be used to pay the November, 2015 salary. But we asked what would become of the January, February, March and April 2016 salary? the NLC boss queried.
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