The Ogun State chairmen of the Trade Union Congress and the Nigeria Labour Congress, Olubunmi Fajobi and Akeem Ambali, respectively, have urged Governor Ibikunke Amosun to pay their members’ 48 months leave allowances and 18 months global deductions.
The labour unions said the leave allowances covered the period of four consecutive years (2015 partially, 2016, 2017 and 2018).
Fajobi and Ambali made the demands among others in their separate speeches at the 2018 May Day celebration held at the MKO Abiola International Stadium, Kuto, Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
This year’s May Day was with the theme, ‘Labour movement in national development; dare to struggle, dare to win.’
The labour union leaders also asked the Ogun State Government to remit the pension funds deducted from their members’ salaries in the last 90 months to the Contributory Pension Scheme.
Fajobi, who noted that though the workers in the state had already received their April salaries, faulted the continuous payment of only workers’ net salary instead of the gross, saying it had negatively impacted on the lives of workers.
He said, “Till date, sir, there are a total of 18 months of global deductions outstanding.
“For the first time in the history of Ogun State, the government is owing workers leave allowances for four consecutive years (2015 partially, 2016, 2017 and 2018).
“It is on record that the promotion for 2016 and 2017 are already in arrears while that of 2018 will fully mature on July 1, thus completing three years of promotion in arrears.”
Ambali, whose speech was read by the state vice-chairman of the NLC, Mr. Dare Ilekoya, warned the government about the urgent need to create employment for the teeming youths in the country.
“The army of unemployed employable youths in Nigeria has reached an alarming rate,” he said.
He also reminded Amosun not to forget his promise to ensure the full payment of retirees’ gratuities before the end of his administration in 2019.
Ambali, who sued the state government over his sacking after the 2016 World Teachers Day celebration, sought the governor’s forgiveness, noting that he had “not received salary in the last 19 months.”
Responding, Amosun said his government was not unaware of the outstanding workers’ allowances, but had financial constraints.
Amosun, who was away in the United States with President Muhammadu Buhari, spoke through his deputy, Mrs. Yetunde Onanuga.
He said his administration would not take the workers for granted.
“To keep afloat, we have had to take measures occasionally, out of survival instinct, that may not be entirely popular but certainly reasonable within the context of our financial circumstances.
“I want to assure you that even such circumstances, few as they are, are always under constant review for more favourable options. In fact, our desire to finish strong, finish well and finish high will be a mirage if our workforce, who have been the reason behind our successes, are left in the lurch.
“We are ever sensitive to these liabilities and will remain honest with our labour leaders about the state of finances of government in addressing this subject.”
The day witnessed march past by different unions and professional associations in the state.