The Oyo State chapter of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) has issued a five day ultimatum to the state government to immediately offset a backlog of unpaid salaries, pensions and other arrears for 8 months.
Chairman of the TUC in Oyo State, Comrade Emelieze Andrew, issued this warning in Ibadan during a chat with journalists following the expiration of a grace period of 15 days.
The Union noted that the recent agreement between Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Oyo State Government is unacceptable, describing the alliance as unholy.
Comrade Emelieze further emphasized that the agreement to end the 7-week old strike was not a true reflection of the yearnings of the various unions involved in the struggle.
The TUC therefore stated that it would mobilise its people to begin an indefinite mass action if government remains adamant.
This 2nd ultimatum is coming barely a week after the NLC suspended a 7-week industrial action across the state over unpaid wages and related issues.
The Federal Government has set up a 16-man Technical Committee to look into the grievances and other labour issues arising from the recent increase in the pump price of petrol.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ingige, who is also the Chairman of the Committee told journalists at the inauguration that the committee will take decisions over the issues of a new minimum wage and palliative measures of the federal government to cushion the effects of the pump price increase.
Members of the committee are drawn from the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and representatives of the federal government.
The Edo State chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), on Wednesday said all member unions are fully committed to the compliance of a nationwide strike directive from the national body.
Chairman of the chapter, Comrade Emma Ademokun, stated this in his address during a rally organised by labour at the King’s Square in Benin City, the Edo State capital.
The Trade Union Congress (TUC) as well as most private establishments in Edo State opted out of the industrial action.
Meanwhile, the Edo State government has directed workers in the state public service to shun the strike and stay at their duty posts, warning that any worker who shuns work under the guise of strike will forfeit his or her pay.
The government in a statement by the Head of Service, Mrs. Gladys Idahor said “all public schools and institutions are expected to remain open as school is in session.
The statement further said Heads of Departments and Parastatals are directed to keep records of workers’ attendance for further action.
It added that workers in Edo State Public Service should be aware that the current strike is “illegal” as the National Industrial Court had issued a restraining order on the strike.
The Delta State chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and it’s affiliate unions on Wednesday successfully shut down banks, schools, federal and state government ministries.
Vice Chairman of NLC in Delta State, Comrade Jonathan Jemineyiyae, who led placard carrying protesters from Cable Point through Nnebisi Road and Summit Road to Government House in Asaba, said the strike action was in line with position of the national body to force the federal government to reverse the increase in petroleum pump price to the old price.
As early as 07:00AM, the NLC officials had sealed up all federal and state government offices, including schools and some major banks operating in the state.
Protests against the federal government have been going on in several states despite the court injunction on the Nigerian Labour unions to suspend the intended strike action over the recent fuel hike.
Speaking to journalist at the Labour House in Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital, the NLC Chairman, Mr Abdullahi Adeka, said the intended internal strike action in the state has been resolved after reaching an agreement with the state government.
Meanwhile, the state Trade Union Congress (TUC) has refused to partake in the ongoing industrial action instructing members to go about their normal businesses.
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) led by Mr Ayuba Waba were on the streets of Abuja, Nigeria’s capital on Wednesday to protest against the recent hike in the price of petrol.
The protest is also a fallout from the negotiation meetings between the workers union and the federal government which ended in deadlock as the leadership of the NLC under Mr Ayuba Waba walked out of the meeting.
The President of the NLC says the 145 naira pump price for petrol is outrageous and must be reviewed downward.
He is asking the government to address the corruption identified with the subsidy regime rather than increase the price of petrol.
Mr Waba said that “What used to be known as subsidy is a scam, instead of addressing the scam in 2012, it was pushed to the consumer “.
He noted that NLC has been in support on the fight against corruption and supported good governance, “which has demonstrated our commitment to the effect hat we will continue to respond to issues that are detrimental to the system”.
He called for the government to work on the inferences to work prefect to avoid Nigerians getting explored.
Nigeria’s Labour Minister, Dr. Chris Ngige, says that those who are on strike following the increase in petroleum pump price are at the risk of facing a fine of 100,000 Naira or six months in jail as prescribed by Section 40 of the Labour laws.
He said this while answering questions from journalists at the end of the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Minister wondered why the NLC did not abide by the constitutional provision of serving on government the initial 15 days’ notice before calling out the strike.
He said that but for the human face of the change administration those embarking on strike were taking a risk.
Also speaking, the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Mallami, said that the federal government went to court to stop the NLC from going on strike to prevent what he called a possible breakdown of law and order and hardship on the generality of Nigerians.
According to them, it has become unconstitutional for Labour to call for a strike in the event of breakdown of negotiations and reconciliation process.
Dr. Ngige said that government engaged all the factions of the labour union as a show of concern to all the citizens of the country and because government wants peace.
Oyo State government and the labour union have reached a mutually acceptable agreement over unpaid salaries of workers.
Both parties arrived at a satisfactory decision after three days of meetings and consultations between various arms of government and Labour.
The leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Oyo State chapter, Waheed Olojede, made the disclosure after the meeting.
Mr Olojede said that the government has agreed that all its Federal Allocation would hereafter be devoted to payment of workers’ salaries.
Regretting the information gap that led to the seven-day ultimatum issued by labour, he hinted that the meeting resolved that a joint revenue mobilisation committee of labour and government would begin to drive, monitor and share any increase in Oyo State’s Internally Generated Revenues (IGR) between workers and government.
The Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, had earlier described the ultimatum as illegal and that any strike would be met with a stiff penalty of ‘no work no pay’, insisting that Labour was aware of the fact on ground.
He had also secured a two-year suspension for debt relief in order to jack up Federal Allocation to the state, maintaining that workers should re-commit to devising ways of not just improving IGR but doing so significantly and consistently.