Ogun Workers on Strike as Government Fails to Implement Minimum Wage
Civil servants in Ogun state on Wednesday embarked on a week warning strike after negotiations with the government ended in deadlock on Tuesday.
The workers are demanding for the implementation of the new minimum wage while the state government insisted implementing the new minimum wage would have to wait until the state was financially buoyant.
Chairman of Nigerian Labour Congress in Ogun, Comrade Emmanuel Bankole described the stance of Ogun state government as “untenable and unacceptable.”
Ogun NLC also decried what it called ‘dysfunctional contributory pension scheme’, totalling 134 months deducted from workers that are yet to be remitted; non promotion of staff since 2018 and unpaid leave allowances to all Ogun State and Local Government employees since 2015.
Bankole said, “We are talking about gratuities that have not been paid for years, we are talking about leave allowance that has not been paid for years, we are talking about retirees that were shortchanged and not been paid.
“Since 2018 promotion has not been done in Ogun State. These are the issues that we brought to the table and all attempts to get them to reason failed and so we are embarking on the warning strike.
“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 haven waited for so long.
“With the facts before is, Ogun state is not the poorest in Southwest. If Lagos is paying and has continue to pay even with, Ondo state is paying and continue to pay, Oyo State is paying even with , there is no reason for Ogun State not to pay.
“And so we are saying no, all their excuses are unacceptable to us.”
Responding on behalf of the Ogun State Government, the Special Adviser to Governor Dapo Abiodun on Public Affairs, Mr Remmy Hazzan expressed displeasure over the warning strike, saying it was not the true reflection of what transpired at the meeting.
Hazzan, however, admitted that the organised labour has legitimate demands, but the financial status of the state are impeding the state government from implementing the minimum wage.
Hazzan also stated that the government would continue to negotiate with the workers in order to resolve the issue and avoid industrial disharmony in the gateway state.