Oyo workers give 24-hour notice to commence strike

Workers in Oyo State on Thursday gave a 24-hour notice to commence strike and paralyse government activities, few days to the May 29 swearing-in of the new government of the Peoples Democratic Party.

The issues that the workers had with the outgoing government of the All Progressives Congress under Senator Abiola Ajimobi were catalogued in a press statement made available to journalists.

The Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Bayo Titlola-Sodo had on Wednesday evening gave a hint of the impending strike while hosting journalists to Iftar (breaking of fast) at the NULGE secretariat, Challenge, Ibadan.

Titilola-Sodo had said, “No government should treat workers like slaves. Let there be justice on how we relate with fellow citizens. A number of teething issues had been on the ground since 2011 when the outgoing government came into power.”

The NLC chairman, who lauded the Federal Government on the directives to the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit on Local Government allocations was quick to add that the state government had usurped the powers of the LGs for far too long.

Titlola-Sodo also said there was no excuse for any state government not to pay the new minimum wage of N30, 000 recently signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.

A few hours after the NLC chairman spoke that the union was not getting favourable response from its negotiations with the outgoing government on a number of unresolved issues including how to end the ongoing primary school teachers’ strike, the labour leaders released a statement, giving a 24-hour notice to commence strike from 12:00 a.m. on Friday.

Part of the demands in a two-page statement jointly signed by the NLC secretary, Mohamed Ibrahim and the secretary of Joint Negotiating Council, Lukman Balogun, after a meeting of all public service unions in the state, include; payment of at least one month arrear of salary to some LG workers.

Those affected and said to be at the receiving end, are council workers in Lagelu, Egbeda, Ogbomoso North and South, Surulere and Ibadan North West LGs.

The statement read further that the state government should pay the remaining arrears of salary to health workers under the umbrella of JOHESU, and immediate enhancement of security within the state hospital, at Ring road, Ibadan.

The union also appealed to the Governing Board of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Teaching Hospital to reinstate the sacked workers at the hospital and release letter of promotion up to 2016 as being enjoyed by other sectors in the state.

The labour union, however, said that if all the above demands were not met within 24 hours, “the leadership of all unions in the Public Service in Oyo State shall not be able to guarantee industrial peace and harmony in the state with effect from Friday 24th of May 2019.”

The release also acknowledged the commitment of the state government to the welfare of workers which include: upgrading of the directorate cadre from grade level 16 to grade level 17, in tandem with the scheme of service in the Federal Civil Service level; lifting embargo placed on lateral conversion and transfer across all cadre in the public service and immediate payment of May, 2019 salary/pension to all workers and pensioners in Oyo State.

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