THE Ogun State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Akeem Ambali, on Monday, said that the indefinite strike embarked on by organised labour in the state had no political undertone.
Ambali, who spoke in a telephone interview with the Tribune Online, argued that the workers were demanding for their legitimate rights.
It will be recalled that the organised labour ,which included the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress, had embarked on industrial action over non -remittance of cooperative deductions, contributory pension scheme, bank loans, IIeya savings, among others.
The Senior Special Assistant on Media to the Governor, Juwon Soyinka, had described the strike as politically motivated.
But Ambali explained that the agitation had been on since January 2016, by which the workers suspended the strike at the instance of peace move by traditional rulers and other stakeholders in the state.
The NLC boss urged government not to employ diversionary tactics, but rather, address all issues raised by the organized labour in the interest of the state.
He said, “That the current struggle to free the deprived workers in Ogun State who voluntarily contributed part of their salary to cooperative society, bank loan refund, ileya savings and other deductions, which was diverted by Ogun State government fraudulently planned to embark on strike since January 2016, before the strike on the issue as a result of breach of agreement.
“The diversionary attempt to brand a genuine labour agitation whose commencement was dated to January 2016, can never and will never be said to be a fall out of a recent event of October 5, because the ultimatum was served on September 29, long before the World Teachers Day by someone that is intelligent and not brainless.”
He submitted that the state government could conveniently pay backlog of arrears owed based on information at its disposal.
“The Organised Labour with records at our disposal clearly know that Ogun State government can conveniently pay the backlog of arrears owed Ogun workers from bullet payments, bailout , lGR and others if for once they are prepared to show concern for workers,” he added.