Here’s what you need to know about Ajimobi’s deal with labor
Striking workers in Oyo state yesterday decided to call off the protracted strike action they embarked upon following several impasses with the state government – impasses that included policies, owed salaries and other matters arising. Their decision to call the strike off had become a curious case of complicated gossips among civil servants within the length and breadth of the state.
“I knew something was up when I heard our leaders were meeting with the state government at midnight. No honest meetings are held at that unholy hours,” a civil servant told IBPulse.
This was the mildest comment I got when I decided to ask civil servants in the state what they thought of the government’s deal-at-midnight with the leadership of the workers’ unions in Oyo state.
But this is what we know so far:
The National Secretariat of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has ordered the suspension of seven weeks indefinite strike embarked upon by Oyo State workers over nonpayment of salaries and allowances.
It followed the agreement signed between the government and the union’s national leaders.
The agreement heralded the setting up of a 14-man joint committee two weeks ago to deliberate on how to resolve the industrial impasse.
The strike was called off after a joint Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the 14-man committee, which include Secretary to the State Government Ishmael Alli, state Chairman of NLC Waheed Olojede, Head of Service Soji Eniade and Commissioner for Finance Abimbola Adekanmbi.
NLC National Vice-President (Southwest) Comrade Solomon Adelegan called the strike off around 11:15pm on Monday.
Olojede confirmed the suspension of the strike around 11.30pm on Monday, saying it was based on the agreement among the parties.
He added that the union’s leadership agreed to suspend the strike because the government had decided to pay two months salaries arrears and to plead with banks not to deduct the debts of workers from the two months salaries to be paid.
He urged the government to release outstanding promotion letters to workers.
Olojede said both parties have agreed to keep on negotiating on outstanding issues.
According to him, the suspension of the strike was considered in the interest of union members.
The state NLC Secretary, Kofo Ogundeji, said the national leaders of the congress ordered the suspension of the strike based on the agreement with the government.
The MOU reads:” That the total amount received from the Federation Account for the month of June, 2016 was N2.1 billion and that an additional N1.39 billion, being the first tranche of the budget support facility, was equally received from the Federal Government, bringing the total available sum to N3.495 billion in in the government coffers that could immediately be utilised for payment of salary, wages and pensions of the state workforce.
“That N3.495 billion, which is readily available, will be immediately disbursed to honour the state’s obligations on salaries, wages and pensions for the month of January 2016. That an appeal be made by the government to banks to grant concerned workers a moratorium of two months on their January and February 2016 salaries and pensions on their debt service obligation.
“That a letter of apology be tendered to government by principals, teachers and pupils of schools that engaged in the breach of peace and destruction of government properties.
“That the government withdraws all outstanding litigation against labour. That no worker would be victimised as a result of participation in the industrial action. That the industrial action be suspended forthwith.”
Chairman of the government/labour committee Alli, who briefed reporters yesterday with Head of Service Soji Eniade and Commissioner for Information Toye Arulogun, said deliberation would continue among the committee members to forestall future industrial impasse.
He promised that the workers would get their two months’ salaries within the next two weeks.