Ogun workers begin indefinite strike

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Civil servants in Ogun State, on Monday, declared an indefinite strike over alleged refusal of the Governor Dapo Abiodun-led administration to remit over 21 months deductions from their salaries.

Under the aegis of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and Joint Negotiating Council (JNC), the workers also decried the nonchalant attitude to workers’ welfare by the state government.

Addressing hundreds of workers who converged at the State Secretariat, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, the state NLC Chairman, Comrade Emmanuel Bankole, said the industrial action became inevitable following the expiration of a seven-day ultimatum issued by the organised labour to the state government.

Apart from the government’s inability to pay 21 months deductions, Bankole explained that non-payment of eight years statutory leave allowances and breach of the State Pension Reform Law, 2006 (amended 2013) and the implementation of the Contributory Pension Scheme were among the demands of the aggrieved workers.

The union leader expressed dismay over the failure of the governor to honour the agreement contained in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) reached in 2020 between the state government and organised labour.

Bankole, who was flanked by the state TUC Chairman, Comrade Akeem Lasisi, and his JNC counterpart, Comrade Isa Olude, lamented that the government also failed to respond to over seven letters written on the issue.

 

While directing all civil servants to stay away from work from Tuesday, the NLC chairman pointed out that the strike would be total and indefinite.

The industrial action, he said, will take effect from 12 a.m. on Tuesday, stressing that there will be no going back until all demands are met by the governor.

Bankole said, “We are here today to take our destiny in our own hands. The leadership is ready. We must start a new beginning, we must tell them (government) that we are workers and we are not slaves. The time is now, a stop must be put to this.

“Our future and the future of the workers of Ogun state is in great jeopardy. Governance is a serious business and whoever that is not ready for it, I think it is time we tell such person to go home.

“Having given them enough time but they are so busy to attend to us, maybe if we go home for some time, they will have time to attend to our matter.

“Anyone who reports for duty tomorrow (Tuesday) is a traitor and it has never been well with a traitor.”

The workers chanted various solidarity songs while the address by their leaders lasted.

As at press time on Monday, neither Governor Abiodun nor any of the officials of the state government had commented on the workers’ strike.

 

 

vanguard newspaper today