Crisis is gradually brewing in Ekiti State chapter of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), as leaders are divided over a plan to declare industrial action to compel the state governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose to pay up all salaries and benefits.
Currently, the civil servants are owed five month salary arrears while pensioners, local government workers and primary school teachers are owed eight months.
The Ekiti Workers’ Rescue Team under the leadership of former Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Mr. Ayo Aluko and his Trade Union Congress (TUC) counterpart, Mr. Kolawole Olaiya, had issued a strike threat to the state government over inability to pay workers.
The union leaders described the present occupants of the seat as docile and compromising, noting that they would not have allowed the situation of workers degenerated to owing of eight month salaries before taking action.
In a statement yesterday, Olaiya urged Ekiti workers “to promptly embark on strike to press home their demands to prevent a situation whereby they would be dying in silence.
At a session with journalists in Ado-Ekiti yesterday, the incumbent Chairman of NLC, Mr. Ade Adesanmi exonerated the labour leaders from any compromise in the payment of salary, saying workers would have been sacked, but for their efforts.
Adesanmi said it was quite unfortunate that the organised labour could not ascertain the actual amount accruing to the state as internally generated revenue.
He accused the staff of the revenue board of making it difficult “to extract information that can guide the labour leaders on how to appropriate the money to help in salary payment.”