Bankole Taiwo, Abeokuta
The workers in Ogun State will from tommorow, Wednesday begin a one-week warning strike over the failure of the government to implement the N30,000 minimum wage.
The State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Emmanuel Bankole disclosed this yesterday after a three-hour closed door meeting between the leadership of organised labour and government officials.
The workers had given the state government a 14-day ultimatum to commence the payment of new minimum wage failure of which they vowed to embark on the strike.
The ultimatum expired today (Wednesday).
Addressing journalists after the meeting, Bankole said the meeting between the labour and government had ended in dead luck hence their decision to embark on the strike.
Some of their demands included: the abolition of the pension reform bill, payment of gratuities, payment of outstanding six years leave allowances, three years promotion and 134 months unpaid pension.
The labour leader lamented that the government had taken the workers granted for too long and accused governor Dapo Abiodun
accused of being insensitive to their plights.
Bankole said, “Unfortunately the negotiation is dead luck. And so the one week warning strike will commence 12 mid night tomorrow (Wednesday).
“With the facts before us, Ogun state is not the poorest in Southwest. If Lagos is paying and has continue to pay even with Covid-19 situation, Ondo state is paying and continue to pay, Oyo State is paying too, there is no reason for Ogun State not to pay. And so we are saying no, all their excuses are no longer unacceptable to us.
“The position of the government is unacceptable to us. What they said was that minimum wage will have to be delayed so that they can do certain things and we said no, enough is enogh having waited for so long.
Speaking on their demands, Bankole said, “We are talking about gratuities that have not been paid for years, we are talking about leave allowances that have not been paid for years, we are talking about retirees that were shortchanged and not been paid. Since 2018, promotion has not been done in Ogun State. These are the issues that we brought to the table and all attempts to get them to reason failed and so we are embarking on the warning strike”.
Reacting, the Special Adviser to Governor Dapo Abiodun on Public Affairs, Hon Remmy Hazzan expressed shock over the warning strike, saying it was not the reflection of what transpired at the meeting the government held with the labour leaders.
Hazzan admitted that the organised labour has legitimate demands, but the financial status of the state makes it incapable to implement the minimum wage.
He, however, said the government would continue to engage the workers in order to resolve the issue to avoid plunging the state into industrial disharmony.