Osun State Workers to Continue Strike Despite One-Month Pay

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Aregbesola

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Dissatisfied with payment of one-month paid by the Osun State government, workers in the state vow to continue their one-month old industrial action

WORKERS of Osun State have vowed to remain on strike, despite being paid one month out of the seven-month salary areas owed by the government. The workers who received the balance of November salary and full December salary, on Tuesday, June 30, expressed dissatisfaction with the payment, saying it was a big a disappointment.

Consequently, they vowed to continue their industrial action, which has entered its fourth week. The workers vowed not to return to work until they were paid at least five months of the seven months being owed by the state.

Speaking with reporters in Osogbo, capital of Osun State, after a meeting with government officials, Jacob Adekomi, state chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, said that the workers would not yield to government’s plea, unless their demands of payment of at least five months salaries were paid.

Adekomi said it was disheartening that the government insisted on paying only one month (December 2014), stating that most of the workers had incurred debts. He said the government intended to balance the 30 percent of salary owed civil servants on Grade Level 15 and above for November, plus one month net salary to all workers across board for December.

Adekomi, who expressed appreciation for the governor’s efforts to pay, also appealed to workers to remain calm and steadfast, insisting that the NLC would continue negotiation with the government, until workers got their full salaries.

Semiu Okanlawon, media aide to Governor Rauf Aregbesola, confirmed that the government paid the balance of November salary to workers on Grade Level 15 and above as well as full salary for December to all workers. Okanlawaon said: “It is very unfortunate that we find ourselves unable to pay our workers for several months when, in the past, we stood for paying on or before 25th of each month. We thank the ever gracious and understanding workers of our state for their patience as we go through this most trying time.”

The governor’s spokesman used the occasion to announce a 50 percent cut in the salaries and allowances of political office appointees in the state. “This is one of the many steps we are taking to ensure our sustenance. We are also calling on the people to join us and do their part in carrying the weight of change.

“Austerity stares us in the face. We must embrace it. We are going to intensify our efforts at prudence and frugality. We will practise self-denial in every way possible. As we proceed on this journey of self-discovery, we hope to put more and more of our people to work by attracting productive investments to our state,” he said.

—  Jul 1, 2015 @ 11:50 GMT

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