By Demola Akinyemi
As Organized labour commences strike in Kwara State today against the non-payment of the N30, 000 minimum wage, stakeholders in the state have continued to plead with labour to shelve the action.
The stakeholders, including the Gamjo Members Association of Kwara State, GAMJI, urged the labour unions to show understanding with the state government which has chosen not to retrench workers in the face of dwindling revenue caused by the coronavirus pandemic currently ravaging world economies.
GAMJI is an umbrella body for followers of the late premier of the northern region Sir Ahmadu Bello.
Recall that the 14 days ultimatum given the state government ended on Sunday as efforts by the two parties to reach a truce during the period met brickwalls.
The plea, contained in a statement signed by publicity secretary of the pan-Nigerian group Alhaji Abdullahi Yinka Agaka, read: “While we understand the standpoint of the labour unions especially from the point of view of the rising cost of living, we caution that embarking on an industrial action is not the solution. This is especially true when we consider the fact that the state government’s finances are seriously stretched already.”
“Like the state government has been doing, we also appeal to the workers to have a rethink, embrace more talks, and appreciate the fact that the government, whatever its imperfections, has shown good faith in handling workers’ welfare and infrastructural development, even during COVID-19 when it never stopped paying workers’ salaries like other states.”