OSHIOMHOLE THREATENS TO IMPLEMENT 'NO WORK, NO PAY' POLICY OVER STRIKE
Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole yesterday read the riot act to striking workers in the state to call-off their strike or it would commence a 'counter action.'
Addressing the leadership of organised labour in the state, which included Nigeria labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and Joint Negotiating Council (JNC), Governor Oshiomhole said he had informed President Goodluck Jonathan about what he called workers political strike.
'I am taking corresponding political action. Everyday there is no work, salary will not be paid,' the governor said.
He told the leadership of organised labour that he had already given directives to Secretary to State Government on what government plans to do if the workers fail to call-off the strike by Monday.
The governor berated the workers for going on strike without following due process even as he gave assurance that state government was still committed to the course of implementing the minimum wage for teachers in Edo State, but with a proviso that the teachers must follow the rule of engagement, as contained in the agreement organised labour signed with government.
Oshiomhole, who accused labour of taking a political contract from his political opponents in the state, however, warned that the striking teachers, who had earlier embarked on a unilateral strike action, would be dismissed if they breach the rules of their engagement.
He said as someone from labour background, he had marched his words with action with the prompt implementation of the minimum wage in the state, including arrears with effect from June and wondered why the state workers would reward the state government with an indefinite strike at a time most state governments and their workers are yet to reach agreement on the implementation of the new minimum wage.
Describing the strike as ill-conceived, the governor noted that most of the issues over which organised labour called out workers for strike were clearly beyond their purview and had nothing to do with the implementation of the minimum wage.
The governor revealed that there was an attempt by the JNC, during negotiation of the wage, to persuade the state government to pay workers N15, 000 relativity wage against the spirit of the Minimum Wage Act, which stipulated N18,000, an action he told the labour leaders will betray worker workers of the state.
Oshiomhole explained that in the spirit of minimum wage agreement with labour, the state government had since included judicial workers and non-teaching staff of secondary schools, who were not earlier captured during negotiation, and therefore, requested teachers in the state to follow the example of judicial workers and non-teaching staff to submit its demands to government for consideration.
The governor was particularly piqued that the workers had included on democratisation of local government councils and deduction of VAT by Federal Government as some of the reasons for their strike action, saying that those issues among others were beyond workers.
Earlier, the state chairman of NLC, Comrade Emmanuel Ademokun had listed the reasons workers went on strike at the expiration of the seven-day ultimatum to include non-implementation of minimum wage for teacher, judicial workers and none teaching staff, casualisation of workers, non-democratisation of councils and stagnation in promotion of workers among other issues.