Thursday, July 9, 2020

Strike: Labour storms Ekiti secretariat, whips erring workers

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Ayodele-Fayose1




Ekiti State labour leaders on Friday stormed the old Governor’s Office in Ado-Ekiti, the state secretariat and other government offices to pursue erring civil servants out of their duty posts.

The organised labour on Thursday began an indefinite strike to demand the payment of the outstanding five months salaries of workers.

It was learnt that members of the organised labour took the workers, who had defied the directive of the labour leaders, by surprise when they swooped on them around 12noon.

One of the workers, who did not want his name mentioned, said, “We were busy when the picketing team came in and forced us out of the office.

“Initially, we wanted to resist them but they brought out canes and started dragging us out of the offices.”

It was learnt that those who resisted picketing received “light beating” from the labour team.

Our correspondent sighted one of the sticks used to cane the workers.

The Ekiti State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Mr. Raymond Adesanmi, confirmed the development to our correspondent.

He said, “They are saboteurs. We all agreed to go on strike at our meeting, so anyone who defied the strike order is a saboteur. They should bear the consequence of their action because we are fighting for general interest.”

The strike followed the expiration of the 48-hour-ultimatum issued by the NLC, Trade Union Congress and Joint Negotiating Council to Governor Ayodele Fayose to pay workers’ salary deductions for December 2015.

The workers’ demands also include the release of the staff audit and verification conducted in April 2015, disclosure of the state monthly internally generated revenue, payment of arrears of five months salaries pension and gratuities, payment of September 2014 salary to primary school teachers and payment of 2014 and 2015 leave bonuses.

Others include implementation of promotion for 2013, 2014, 2015, approval of inter-cadre transfer, remission of10 per cent IGR to local government and stoppage of Joint Allocation Committee’s account, resuscitation of Local Government staff pension fund and release of running grants.

But the governor, in a state broadcast on Thursday, said he had no immediate solution to the demand of the workers because of the financial challenges facing the state.

He said workers’ monthly wage bill was over N2bn whereas the federal allocation kept reducing from almost N3b to as low as N751m in April.

The labour union had earlier issued a 24-hour-ultimatum last week before the commencement of the nationwide strike declared by the NLC.

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