By Tope Fayehun, Akure
Organised labour unions in Ondo State have accused Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of suspiciously and forcefully introducing percentage and fractional salary payment into the state, insisting that workers in the state would not accept 80% September 2016 salary arrears paid from the second tranche of the Paris debt refund.
Rising from an emergency labour leaders’ meeting held at NLC office at Alagbaka Akure on Saturday, the affiliate unions of JNC, NLC and TUC said despite earlier letter to the governor to advise his administration against percentage salary payment like a neighbouring state, the state government still directed its accountant general on Friday to start paying eighty percent of September last year’s salaries.
At the meeting presided over by the NLC chairman, Comrade Bosede Daramola and her TUC counterpart Comrade Soladoye Ekundayo, the labour leaders noted that meetings held with some government’s representatives and the governor himself only agreed on the utilization of the second tranche of the 75% Paris debt refund for workers on grade levels one to 14.
The workers said they viewed the 80% payment made on Friday as a gift and not salary until government made full payment of the September 2016 salary arrears.
According to the workers ,it was too authoritarian, erroneous and elementary for any political appointee to be claiming that the present administration did not owe workers.
They added that it was well known that state governors statutorily inherited both assets and liabilities of his predecessors.
“If Governor Akeredolu’s administration can spend money left in account by his predecessor, he should also pay in full the debt and salaries owed by mimiko’s government whenever funds are available instead of using his aides to attack labour Unions . We will do everything to reject introduction of percentage salary in Ondo state, no matter of government propaganda to blackmail us”, the Union said.
The organised Labour also expressed disappointment over the attitude of the State Head of Service, Mr Toyin Akinkuotu for not doing enough to protect the interest of Ondo state workers under the present administration.
They also berated the governor’s Senior Special Assistant on Special Duties and Strategy Dr Doyin Odebowale for using unprinted names and unguided statements against the indigenes of the state and labour leaders warning that the labour movement would be forced to put in the public domain his antecedents as an uncultured personality who could not change.
The workers however, advised Governor Akeredolu to call the SSA to order,saying his recent utterances shown clearly that the present administration would not be workers’ friendly.
The labour who reminded Odebowale that government is continuum, noted that the Paris debt refund, Akeredolu’s administration was claiming it could not be used to pay salary and pension in full was a dividend of his predecessors.
The Union cautioned political appointees that they should always remember that running of government was not a personal or private business, hence the need for those in the helm of affairs to always obey the extant laws of the civil service.
They added that the elected and appointed political office holders only hold offices in trust for indigenes as no worker would accept gradual introduction of percentage or fractional salary in the state irrespective of political blackmail or propaganda by the Akeredolu’s administration.
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By Tope Fayehun, Akure