Workers in Osun State on Wednesday commenced an indefinite strike over the payment of half salaries by the Rauf Aregbesola led government.
Labour leaders led by the Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress in Osun State, Mr. Jacob Adekomi, on led other unions’ leaders to the State Secretariat at Abere to shut down the place as workers commenced the indefinite strike action.
Labour leaders had on Friday announced that they would begin an indefinite strike immediately after the Christmas break over modulated salary, lack of promotion and the non-remittance of their contributory pension deductions to workers’ pension accounts.
The NLC chairman, the chairman of Nigeria Union of Teachers, Mr. Amudah Wakeel and other Labour leaders stormed the Secretariat gate as early as 7 am on Wednesday to ensure compliance with the directive from the labour leaders.
The NUT chairman, who spoke to our correspondent said workers from grade level 01 to 07 who were collecting full salary joined the strike because the strike was not based on the issue of half salary alone.
He expressed satisfaction with the level of compliance to the strike directive which he described as a total one.
He said, “We are on strike in Osun. We are here at the State Government Secretariat, Abere to ensure a total compliance to the strike directive.
“As you can see, no worker came to resume work today because they are our members and the labour directed that they should stay at home.
“The labour is indivisible, that is why those who are collecting full salaries also complied. The strike is not even about half salary alone. The issue of promotion is there, pension is there and are you saying those from level 1 to 7 will not retire in the future?
“The compliance is total and we are happy about it. Nobody can divide us. The labour is one indivisible family whether you are on level one, 13 or any level.”
The workers had during their last meeting with Governor Rauf Aregbesola insisted that the state had the financial ability to pay them full salaries. They said most of them had been collecting half salaries since September 2015 and the governor still didn’t want to change this even after collecting N6.3 billion third tranche of the Paris Club refund.
But the governor had said while addressing workers during the Civil Service Week that 72 per cent of the state workforce were collecting full salaries while just 28 per cent were being paid modulated salaries.
He lauded them for their perseverance and promised that the season of famine would end by March 2018.