Friday, 27 May 2016

Ekiti State Workers Declares War on Gov. Fayose over Unpaid Salaries




The organised labour in Ekiti State on Thursday began an indefinite strike to protest the nonpayment of the outstanding five months’ salaries of public workers in the state.
According to GutsyNaijaAll government offices were shut as workers stayed away from work. The strike followed the expiration of the 48-hour-ultimatum issued by the Nigeria Labour Congress, the Trade Union Congress and the Joint Negotiating Council to Governor Ayodele Fayose to pay  workers’ salary deductions for December 2015.
The workers’ demands also include the release of the staff audit and verification conducted in April, 2015, disclosure of the state monthly internally generated revenue, payment of arrears of five months’ salaries, pension and gratuities, payment of  the September 2014 salary to primary school teachers and payment of the 2014 and 2015 leave bonuses.
Others include implementation of promotion for 2013, 2014 and 2015, approval of inter-cadre transfer, remission of 10 per cent IGR to the local government councils and the stoppage of the Joint Allocation Committee’s account, resuscitation of Local Government Staff Pension Fund and release of running grants.
The labour union had earlier issued a 24-hour-ultimatum last week before the commencement of the nationwide strike declared by the NLC.
But the governor in a state broadcast on Thursday said he had no immediate solution to the demand of the workers because of the financial challenges facing the state.
He said the workers’ monthly wage bill was over N2bn whereas federal allocation kept reducing from almost N3bn to as low as N751m in April.
“Right now, I’m helpless. It is difficult to sell myself, my family or my property. I can only depend on what I get from Abuja. I want workers to understand that it is my priority to make them comfortable.
“Even before going on their strike, I got to know that many of them no longer come to office while many others were coming late to the office. Why I refused to come hard on those involved was that I had no moral justification to do so since I knew we were owing them.
“I don’t have powers to prevent them from going on strike, we shall be waiting till when they come back. But they must realise that strike is not the best option.
“Even in Government House, we don’t have money to power generators with diesel, whereas, I cannot sell myself or members of my family to raise funds, things are that difficult,”  Fayose said.
But the state NLC Chairman, Raymond Adesanmi,  in an interview with our correspondent said there was no going back on the strike.
“We have made our legitimate demands and tabled them before the government, so there is no going back.
“We are not saying the government should pay all the money at once. What we are asking for is a commitment. There should be a structured plan of how to settle all the arrears. When the government is ready for a dialogue, we will be waiting.”

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