Ogun State workers have declared a one-week warning strike due to the failure of the government to implement the new minimum wage.
The Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ogun State chapter, Emmanuel Bankole, made the announcement following a three-hour closed-door meeting held between the leadership of organized labour and government officials where they reached an impasse.
Two weeks ago, NLC issued a 14-day ultimatum to the government to implement the new minimum wage. However, after the ultimatum expired on Wednesday, the government did not meet their demands.
Earlier on Tuesday, the workers stormed the governor’s office, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta to protest against the failure of the government to begin payment of the new minimum wage and pension reform bill among others. The leadership of the organised labour which comprises NLC, Trade Union Congress (TUC) and Joint Negotiating Council later went into a closed-door meeting with the government.
The NLC Chairman who addressed journalists after the meeting revealed that the meeting between the labour and government had ended in a deadlock. He then announced their decision to embark on a one-week strike.
Mr Bankole revealed some of the demands which include the abolition of the pension reform bill, the payment of gratuities, payment of an outstanding six years leave allowances, three years promotion and 134 months unpaid pension.
He said, “Unfortunately the negotiation ended in a deadlock. And so the one-week warning strike will commence 12 midnight tomorrow (Wednesday). With the facts before us, Ogun state is not the poorest in South-West. So, we are saying no, all their excuses are unacceptable to us. The position of the government is unacceptable to us. What they said was that minimum wage will have to be delayed so that they can do certain things and we said no, enough is enough.”
The Special Adviser to Governor Dapo Abiodun on Public Affairs, Remmy Hazzan, registered his surprise at NLC’s decision. According to him, organised labour had legitimate demands, but the financial status of the state made it incapable to implement the minimum wage.
He then reiterated the government’s commitment to finding a beneficial solution to both parties.