Oyo State Government Describes Workers’ Strike As Insensitive

NLC ElectionThe Oyo State Government has described the industrial action by workers’ union in the state as ‘premature and insensitive’ to ongoing negotiations between government and the union.

The Leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Oyo State Chapter, had ordered its members to proceed on an indefinite strike with effect from Monday May 25, in accordance with a directive of its national leadership.

Reacting to the decision of the union on behalf of the Oyo State Government, the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Ismail Alli, said it was unfortunate, explaining that the State Government had been fair to workers since the current administration took over office four years ago.

He said the government had not received any official statement in respect of the action from the labour union.

“No government in the state has ever increased its workers’ salary as the Ajimobi led government,” he said.

He added that the union should have waited for the ongoing negotiations to end before such action would be considered.

Announcing the commencement of the strike, the NLC Chairman in Oyo state, Comrade Waheed Olojede, said: “You are all aware sufficiently that in the last few months in Nigeria, many state governments owe their workers salaries and pensions. Oyo State is one of those states. In the last few months, we have commenced negotiation with the state government on how best to pay outstanding salaries and pensions of the workers and retirees”.

“We were on the process until last Friday when the national headquarters of the NLC issued a directive, instructing all state councils of NLC, where governments are owing salaries and pensions, to begin industrial action from today, Monday, May 25.

“We have gotten in touch with the national leadership of NLC to make clarification on the action.

The State’s NLC Chairman said the action was regrettable, especially as negotiations between the State Government and Labour had been ongoing before the national leaders instructed the commencement of the strike.

Comrade Olojede stated that no state chapter of the NLC had any superior stance beyond the national body and this necessitated the indefinite strike.