By Kolade Larewaju
THE labour crisis rocking Ogun State further deepened yesterday as the state government reacted to the 15-day ultimatum given to it by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), said it would not be intimidated by the strike threat of the union.
A statement by the Consultants to Governor Olugbenga Daniel on Labour Matters and Workersâ€™ Pension, Wale Oduntan and Niyi Osoba respectively said government remained unperturbed with position of NLC in relations to workers in the State.
â€œFor the avoidance of doubt, the NLC should note that we are not intimidated by its position as we vow to continue unperturbed, to do what we have to do in ensuring good governance to the generality of Ogun people and not restrictive to the labour sectorâ€, the statement said.
The statement accused the Congress of partisanship, saying that its leadership had continued to display ignorance through many press releases which according to them, were full of exaggeration and sometimes, total falsehood.
The statement said the State Government had paid pensionâ€™s deductions from January 2008 to October 2008, contrary to the claim of non-remittance to the Pensionâ€™s Fund Administrators by the Congress.
Government explained that the effect of the global economic meltdown on the economy of the state had hampered it from paying into the coffers of PFAs since November 2008, promising to gradually settle all outstanding arrears as soon as the situation improved.
It stated further that government was still negotiating with the Nigeria Union of Teachers and Health Workers on the on-going strike, saying that it was wrong for the NLC to issue ultimatum when there was an agreement reached that the two parties should meet by the end of this month and on November 13.
It said, â€œwe wish to remind the NLC that it is wrong to issue ultimatum when we just last week agreed to meet by the end of October, 2009 and on 13th of November, 2009 to appraise the implementation of our mutual agreement.
â€œThis amount to a stab in the back and it is foul! We therefore counsel the NLC to withdraw its ultimatum for further positive interaction and negotiation to continue.â€