Oyo State chapter of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), has confronted the state governor, Abiola Ajimobi with the position that it reached any agreement with the governor, to reduce workers salaries in the state.
Making this position known, the state’s NLC boss, Waheed Olojede who threw out the governor’s claim during a live interview on Splash FM in Ibadan on Saturday that he had a meeting with labour leaders and reached a compromise to cut off certain percentage of workers’ salaries, insisted that he never led the state labour leaders to a meeting with Ajimobi, neither was there any agreement to reduce workers salaries in the state.
According to Olojede, “The governor said we had a meeting with him and that an agreement was reached to reduce workers’ salaries.
“This is not true. We actually had a meeting with him recently but we never discussed any issue relating to salary cut.
“What we are now emphasising is that at the meeting we had with the state government, what we discussed was the payment of outstanding salaries to workers since the Federal Government had approved the bailout of N26.6bn for the state.
“The governor agreed with us that the state will use the bailout to pay outstanding salaries and pensions it owe to workers. The meeting did not go beyond that.
“The state NLC would resist any pay cut by the governor, it would amount to a betrayal of trust for the state labour leaders to agree to Â a slash in salaries.
“We want to also state categorically that under no condition shall we accept a salary cut at a time when the situation for workers is very appalling, and at a time when workers cannot afford three square meals.
“How will any reasonable labour leader come up to discuss and agree with the government that workers’ salaries should be reduced? We have no agreement to that effect with the governor.
“For clarification and to put the record straight, the last National Executive Council meeting of the NLC, held in Abuja, directed the national leadership to commence the process of negotiation for a new minimum wage in Nigeria.
“If the NLC is doing that at the national level, can NLC leaders in Oyo State return home to enter into an agreement with the government for salary cut? The last minimum wage approval in Nigeria was given in 2011.
“The law says that at the end of every five years, labour deserves the right to ask for a review of the minimum wage. This is the process we are initiating now, not salary cut.”