The organized labour in Ekiti State on Thursday berated the state government saying it was insulting for Governor Ayodele Fayose to have paid a sum of N3,000 into workers’ account prior to the July 14 election, when the state government was finding it difficult to pay salary.
Giving a strike notice on Thursday, the union declared that the workers might go on strike any moment if the governor fails to show commitment to payment of two month salaries and pensions per month as from July.
The body said it had been enduring since 2015 when the economic recession began across the country, causing difficulty in the payment of salary, saying Fayose must live up to his promise not to leave Ekiti as a debtor.
The body also denounced the secrecy surrounding the internally generated revenue saying it was quite unfortunate that the organized labour could not ascertain the actual amount accruing to the state as internally generated revenue.
They accused the staff of the revenue board of making it difficult to extract information that could guide the labour leaders on how to appropriate the money to help in salary payment.
It also berated a group under the auspices of Ekiti Workers’ Rescue Team, led by former Chairmen of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Com. Ayo Aluko and Trade Union Congress (TUC), Com. Kolawole Olaiya, issuing strike threat to the state government over inability to pay workers.
The organized labour added that Aluko and Olaiya lacked the locus standi to issue such threat or call the workers out on strike without labour leaders sanctioning such, describing them as opportunists searching for ways to impress the governor-elect, Dr Kayode Fayemi.
At a press conference in Ado Ekiti on Thursday, the Chairman of NLC, Ekiti chapter, Com. Ade Adesanmi, exonerated the labour leaders of any compromise in the payment of salary, saying workers would have been sacked but for their efforts.
He said: “When inability to pay salaries began, the present government came with option of downsizing the workforce or allow two salaries to be added to pay one salary. In the interest of our people we took the second option.
“As labour leaders, we are supposed to be apolitical. And that position we maintain up to now. Now, election has come and gone but the pitiable situation of our members occasioned by non-payment of salaries and pension of senior citizens still persist and it is worrisome.
“Letters have been written to the outgoing government to set machinery in motion for the payment of backlog of arrears of salaries and pensions to fulfill its promise not to leave Ekiti as debtor. This time, we want to hold Governor Fayose by his words.
“Workers are dying, pensioners are dying and the governor as a father to all, should ensure that our pains are relieved as soon as possible.
“We have suggested that from July allocation, government should mop up all funds and start paying two month salaries , failure which labour may not be able to guarantee industrial peace and harmony in Ekiti.
“But we implore workers to disregard information from the so called Ekiti State workers Rescue Team. They are pensioners and if they want to fight for anybody, it should be pensioners, so we don’t know whose interest they were protecting, because what they wanted was attention from the incoming government for political patronage”.
Adesanmi said it was insulting for Fayose to have paid a sum of N3,000 into workers’ account prior to the July 14 election, when the state government was finding it difficult to pay salary.
“Money was spent on election , and hence we are requesting for the payment of workers’ benefits without further delay otherwise industrial harmony may not be sustained in Ekiti”, he threatened.