By Rotimi Ojomoyela
The Ekiti State organised labour, has given a 14-day notice to Governor Kayode Fayemi to pay all outstanding benefits to workers or face indefinite industrial action.
A letter dated July 16 and addressed to Fayemi, said the ultimatum commences from Monday, July 20 and lapses on August 3, within which the governor is expected to redeem his pledge or face mass action.
The letter was jointly signed by the Chairmen of Nigerian Labour Congress, Com. Kolapo Olatunde, his counterparts in the Trade Union Congress, Com. Sola Adigun and Joint Negotiating Council, Com. Kayode Fatomiluyi, as well as their Secretaries.
In a statement made available to journalists in Ado Ekiti, on Saturday, the labour demanded immediate payment of outstanding workers’ promotion arrears, deductions, salaries, allowances, bonuses and other benefits within the stipulated time, to avert industrial strife in Ekiti.
It regretted that they had written over five letters to the governor reminding him of the need to redeem his pledge, but without correspondence responses , which they branded as an act of “betrayal”.
“Arising from foregoing, we felt dazed and betrayed by the state government for not reciprocating our patriotic zeal and disposition to the state corporate governance by not acceding to any of workers’ demands since the beginning of the present administration which is now close to two years. This is painful.
“On the strength of the above , the state government is hereby called upon to implement all the above listed items within the next fourteen days with effect from Monday, 20th July, 2020 failure, workers shall embark on 3 days warning strike commencing in the mid-night of Monday, 3rd August, 2020”.
Reeling out the grey areas that needed to be resolved to avert impending strike, the organised labour said: “We considered it sacrilegious, the non-implementation of financial benefits arising from the letters of promotion given to all deserving workers from years 2015, 2016,2017,2018 and 2019 and advancement.
“Pay three months gross salaries arrears and five months deductions for State Workers and Secondary School teachers. Six months gross salaries and six months deductions for Local government workers and Primary School Teachers”.
The organised labour frowned at the attitude of the State Government for not injecting more funds into car and Housing loans to enable more workers have access.
“Also, hazard allowance for Health workers working under this ravaging COVID-19 Pandemic should be paid with immediate effect”, labour demanded.
The labour said it was appalled by the planned deduction of 15 per cent from gratuities and pensions payable to pensioners without due consultation, saying the unions will support any popular decision taken by the pensioners on the matter.
It urged the government to finetune arrangements for the signing of the final agreement for the implementation of the N30,000 new minimum wage across the board.