Tuesday, March 8, 2016 6:33 pm
As the ongoing strike action in Ogun state enters its second day, the workers under the aegis of the Joint Negotiating Council has declared that no amount of threat or intimidation from the State government will make them renounce their decision until the government do what is expected of it.
The Union has stated that it will not dialogue with the state government until it adheres to the Memorandum of Understanding,
MoU, signed by the tripartite group at a meeting, held on 26 January 2016.
The Secretary of the JNC, Comrade Olusegun Adebiyi, described the level of compliance as impressive and maintained that, “the strike would not be called off until government does the needful.”
He claimed that some people from the government quarters are trying to harass, intimidate some of their members, warning that, their efforts will be futile.
The state government has described the strike as unpopular.
Barr. Taiwo Adeoluwa, the Secretary to the State Government, warned the group of few, uncooperative workers to henceforth desist from physically preventing the vast majority of its workforce who turn up for work and are willing to continue with their lawful duties.
Some workers claimed government has been threatening them with dismissal if they failed to return to work.
Taiwo Adeoluwa, described the strike as uncalled for, saying that the government has not foreclosed further negotiation with the striking workers.
He, however, appealed to them to “cooperate with the government, especially at this trying time of economic recession”.
“Despite the current financial crisis affecting the country, salaries have been paid up to February 2016 for all categories of workers in the state,” Adeoluwa said.
“In spite of the fact that Ogun is one of the states that receives the least allocation from the Federation Account, it
pays the highest wages to workers in Nigeria. It is the only State in the country that implemented the Minimum Wage
across board for both the public and civil servants and Local government employees from grade levels 1 to 17. Therefore, what the
government expects from its workforce at this difficult period in Nigeria is understanding rather than an industrial action.
“For instance, the Federal allocation for Ogun State in February 2016 was N1.2bn while that of Local Government was N1.7bn. But the wage bill of primary school teachers alone for the month stood at N2bn and the entire wage bill for the state stands at about N9bn.
”In view of this harsh economic reality, the few misguided striking workers are simply playing the ostrich and pushing an insensitive
argument which seems to suggest that the resources of a state with a population of over seven million people (7 million) should be totally devoted to the payment and comfort of civil servants whose population is less than fifty thousand (50,000)”, the State Government