…Labour Leaders Should Bear With Us – Govt
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Osun State chapter have accused Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s administration of failing to implement the agreement it reached with the labour unions on the payment of new minimum wage to workers in the state.
In a press statement signed by the state’s NLC chairman and its TUC counterpart, Comrade Saka Adesiyan and Comrade O.F Adetunji, a copy of which was made available to our correspondent in Osogbo, the Labour said it could no longer guarantee industrial harmony in the state over what it termed “nonchalant attitude of the state government towards the agreement.
But, the state Commissioner for Information, Orientation and Strategy, Mr. Sunday Akere said that “when the government reached an agreement with the labour, monthly revenue accruable to it was N4.6bn and now it has dropped to N3.6bn. Part of the agreement was that we would upwardly review the salary when the economy improves but that is not feasible with the present economic realities”.
He, therefore implored the Labour to bear with the state government, assuring that the governor was committed to ensuring the promotion of workers’ welfare and interest.
“We are committed to ensuring promotion of workers’ interest but they should just bear with us for the time being,” Akere said.
The state government and the representatives of the labour unions, which consist of the Joint Negotiating Council I, II and III, Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) and National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) had on the 9th September, 2011 agreed to approve for implementation the signed new salary table based on the new minimum wage of N19,012.95.
Part of the agreement, among others also include that “The salary of officers on GL08 to GL17 will further be upwardly reviewed to as soon as the financial position of the state government improves”.
The labour unions on Thursday contended that with the failure of the state government to abide by the agreement, the public civil servants in the state may be poised for a showdown, which might precipitate strike action.
According to the press statement, “Workers in the public service of Osun State should be made to know that the congress plan of meeting the government on the issue of our agreement signed 9th September, 2011 has not yielded any positive result due to the fact that the government has failed to initiate discussion on the aforementioned issue”.
While warning that the congress should not be held responsible for whatever might be the consequence of the government nonchalant attitude, the labour said Governor Aregbesola’s administration should tow the path of peace by honouring the agreement.
BY TIMOTHY AGBOR/OSOGBO