Ogun State government and the organised labour are set for showdown over the planned strike by the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council (JNC), which commenced today.
The labour unions had issued a 21-day ultimatum to the state government which expired Wednesday night, over unpaid deductions, bank loans, gratuities, among others.
The state governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, at a town hall meeting on the 2017 budget, held at the Cultural Centre, Kuto, Abeokuta, on Wednesday, was apparently not happy with the industrial action called by the organised labour unions.
The governor, who made reference to the strike while answering questions from the audience, said government would not allow some elements in the labour unions to hold the state into ransom.
Amosun insisted that no group or individual could be higher than the state, hence the need for the labour unions to reason with government, in the face of the economic challenges facing the country.
The governor maintained that his government could not give what it does not have.
“It is important to note that no group or individual can be more important than the state that binds us together.
“The era of playing politics under the guise of labour movements and agitation for improved welfare and condition of service is over and gone for good in the state.”
Governor Amosun said that the strike had political undertone and therefore advised any civil or public servant interested in politics to resign.
Meanwhile, the state government had vowed to invoke the “no work, no pay” rule on any worker who absent himself or herself from work.
It described the strike as illegal and further said that government had not in anyway defaulted in payment of salaries.
“In view of this, the Ogun State government therefore declares the proposed strike action as illegal, unreasonable and totally uncalled for while urging the generality of its workforce not to heed the call of a few misguided elements whose motive is clearly political.”
Similarly, traditional rulers in the state also supported the position of the government that the strike was politically motivated.
The traditional rulers at a press conference addressed by the chairman of the Ogun State Council of Obas, the Olu of Ilaro and Paramount ruler of Yewaland, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle, supported by the Awujale and Paramount ruler of Ijebuland, Oba Kayode Adetona and the Alake and Paramount ruler of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, stated clearly that they were not in support of any call by the organised labour to ask workers to embark on strike.