By Victor Ogunje
The Ekiti State Organised Labour has maintained a hard stand over unresolved issues surrounding unpaid benefits, as it directed workers to proceed on a three-day warning strike beginning from Monday, August 3.
The strike, according to the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and Joint Negotiating Council (JNC), was to pressure Governor Kayode Fayemi to pay outstanding salaries, allowances and pension arrears of their members.
The state government and organised labour have been embroiled in a cold war over unpaid seven months salary arrears of local government workers and primary school teachers, as well as pensioners, three month arrears for secondary school teachers and civil servants and outstanding gratuities spanning over 10 years.
Others contentious payments include: leave bonus from 2015 till date, arrears of promotions for workers at all levels, deductions and implementation of the N30,000 minimum wage across board.
The outstanding payments, which progressively accumulated during Governor Ayodele Fayose’s regime became an albatross for Fayemi, having promised to defray the arrears totaling N57 billion within one year he assumed office for his second term.
The directive was contained in a statement jointly signed by the Chairmen of NLC, Com. Kolapo Olatunde, TUC, Com. Sola Adigun and JNC, Com Kayode Fatomiluyi, yesterday.
The labour said: “The warning strike called by the Organised Labour in Ekiti will commence on Monday, 3rd August, 2020 at 12:00am.
“Fellow workers the State Government is yet to attend to any of our requests such as: Financial Promotion for the years 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 yet to be implemented.
“No Commitment to all outstanding deductions such as cooperative money, loan repayment to banks, housing fund, and so on.”
The demands also include: “Leave bonuses for five years, in fact, pensioners are suffering . Hazard Allowance for COVID-19 to Health Workers, many Months of salary arrears and deductions yet to be paid; Workers are suffering. Minimum Wage and consequential adjustment now become abandoned project and mirage.
“Flowing from the above, the strike action will commence from 12:00am on Monday, 3rd August, 2020, except government attends to our demands.
“No worker should go to work or listen to any directive from any quarters, except from the leadership of the organized labour in Ekiti State”.