Workers in the employ of the Ogun State Government, on Monday, embarked on a total strike till further notice, over 21months of unremitted deductions.
The public and civil servants under the umbrella of organised labour comprising the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), had given a seven-day ultimatum for the government of Prince Dapo Abiodun, to sort out the issue of unremitted deductions from their monthly wages.
The State Chairman of NLC, Comrade Emmanuel Bankole, while addressing hundreds of workers that gathered at the Arcade Ground, Governor’s Office, Abeokuta, said all public hospitals, schools, ministries and agencies would be affected by the strike.
Some of the issues raised by the organised labour included the government’s inability to remit 21 months’ deductions; non-payment of eight years of statutory leave allowances and breach of the State Pension Reform Law, 2006 (amended 2013) in the implementation of the Contributory Pension Scheme amongst other demands.
Bankole berated the state government for failing to honour the agreement contained in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in 2020.
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The NLC chairman flanked by his counterpart in TUC, Comrade Akeem Lasisi and the State Chairman of Joint National Negotiating Council (JNC), Comrade Isa Olude, said the industrial action became imperative over the failure of the government to meet with the labour leaders despite various letters written on the issues.
He explained that the strike which commences from 12 midnight on Tuesday would be comprehensive and total, and would not be called off until their demands are met.
“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 a 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.
“There is no going back. We have given them so long rope to draw.
“It is my opinion and my conviction that Ogun state workers are saying that we should embark on a full-blown strike.
“We are embarking on indefinite strike from 12mid night, let all the workers stay back at home. The implication is that nobody is expected to work tomorrow.
“Anyone who reports for duty tomorrow (Tuesday) is a traitor and it has never been well with a traitor,” Bankole said.