Oyo workers suspend strike

Posted by News Express | 26 July 2016 | 2,575 times

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The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Oyo state has suspended its seven-week strike action embarked upon to protest the non-payment of their six months salary arrears.

The strike was suspended after several hours of meeting between the labour union and the state government team which ended at about 11pm on Monday.

The workers had on June 6 began an indefinite strike to protest the non-payment of their salary arrears.

The aggrieved workers also demanded the withdrawal of the suit instituted by the state government against the state chairman of the NLC, Waheed Olojede, and five other labour leaders at a magistrate court.

Governor Abiola Ajimobi had at different fora appealed to the striking workers to return to the negotiation table to enable both parties straightened things out.

Stakeholders and prominent groups in the state have also intervened in the industrial feud all to no avail.

Such intervention led to the inauguration of a committee drawn from both government and workers side to fashion out ways of resolving the logjam.

A meeting was held on Monday night where an agreement was eventually reached by the two groups.

It was learnt that during the prolonged meeting, Governor Abiola Ajimobi agreed to pay the workers two months out of their outstanding salaries.

Confirming the suspension of the strike, Oyo NLC Vice Chairman, Mr Titilola Sodo said the payment of the two months salary would commence on Wednesday.

He listed some of the conditions under which the strike was called off as government acceptance to pay two months out of the outstanding salaries, ask banks to give workers three months moratorium on loans to enable them take care of their basic needs, withdrawal of all court cases against labour in the state as well as immediate issuance of promotion letters to concerned workers.

A statement by the state Commissioner for Information, Toye Arulogun, said, “the two parties after an exhaustive deliberation agreed that the state monthly average salary and related bill is N5.2 billion and that the accumulation of unpaid salaries arose from the state’s dwindling allocation from the federation accounts and the adoption of staggered payment option.”

“That the total amount received from the Federation account for the month of June 2016 was N2.1billion and that an additional sum of N1.39billion, being the first tranche of the Budget Support Facility was equally received from the federal government, bringing the total available sum to N3.495 billion in the government coffers that could immediately be utilised for payment of salary, wages and pensions of the state workforce.”

“The constraint of the state government to fully render its obligations on the outstanding salaries, wages and pensions resulted in the use of her federal allocation for two months , and sometimes three to meet one-month obligation.” (The Guardian)

•Photo shows Governor Ajimobi.

Source: News Express

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