…OYO WORKERS RESUME SUSPENDED STRIKE
Workers in the Oyo State civil service yesterday announced the resumption of their suspended strike over the failure of the state government to implement the N18, 000 minimum wage.
Yesterday industrial action declared by the workers would make it twice within a month; they would be going on strike.
Unlike the previous strikes, declared by the leadership of the state labour congress, the workers, after the congress held at the state secretariat of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Agodi GRA, Ibadan, insisted on going on the strike with immediate effect to protest against alleged imposition of salary structure by the government.
Shortly after the industrial action was declared, workers, who had earlier reported for duty at the state and local governments secretariats, returned to their respective homes. Also their counterparts, who had reported at their duty posts at the hospitals and courts hurriedly shut the doors of their offices and went home. While briefing newsmen after the congress, the Chairman, of Joint Negotiation Council, Alhaji Nurudeen Arowolo flanked by Mr. Bashir Olanrewaju and Mr. Bayo Ajayi, state NLC and Trade Union Congress (TUC) chairmen respectively, said the state government had not been faithful with the agreement reached by the two parties on the salary structure.
Arowolo said contrary to the earlier pledge by the Governor, Abiola Ajimobi that 'Ekiti Model' of N13, 400 would be adopted as the new minimum wage, the government later went back to reverse the arrangement and prepare a salary structure which amounted to N10, 200 minimum wage.
Meanwhile, the Oyo State Government views the action of the workers in the state with great suspicion.
The government said, in a statement signed by Festus Adedayo, senior special assistant to the governor on Public Communications, that: 'It reinforces our earlier belief and views circulating on the streets of the state that the workers may not be acting unilaterally.
'First, the workers did not give the state government any notice at all before embarking on this work-to-rule, which is a violation of the Labour law.'Second, it is public knowledge that Oyo State is about the only state in Nigeria that has paid the N18, 000 minimum wage across board for the month of May. We expected commendation from the public and our workers for this onerous feat.
'We are thus shocked that the labour leaders unilaterally took this action without recourse to due process and in defiance of the spirit of negotiation between us. We ask, why would Oyo workers go on strike to press home for a wage increase that is supposed to take effect from August salary?
'We still plead with labour in the state to allow reason prevail. Workers generally should ask their leaders why they are always up in arm against the government,' the statement read in parts