Crisis Looms In Osun Labour Union•As Members Accuse Leaders Of Excesses, Partisanship

Imminent crisis may befall the Osun State chapters of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), following suspicions and speculations that the leadership of the three unions are acting the script of the ousted Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on the ongoing industrial action.
Investigation has revealed that majority of the members of the three unions have been suspecting the leadership of the NLC and TUC of unholy alliance with some PDP chieftains, who wanted to frustrate the administration of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola.
Findings revealed that the Chairman of the TUC, Comrade Francis Adetunji, was imposed on the union by the former Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Fatai Akinbade who frustrated the former chairman of the union, Alhaji Tajudeen Oyetunji out of office.
The former chairman still had about five months to spend in office, when Akinbade, who wanted to hijack the leadership of the TUC for his governorship ambition, sponsored Oyetunji, to break the union. The case lasted for months at the Osogbo High Court.
NULGE Chairman, Mr. Kayode Afolabi was also accused of romancing with Aregbesola, while the industrial action by the three unions was then on.
The Chairman, Joint Negotiation Council (JNC), Mr. Bayo Adejumo, had been severally accused of holding secret meetings with the leadership of the party, before and during the industrial action.
The allegations and suspicions had been causing disunity among members of the unions, as some civil servants have been accusing their leaders of collecting millions of naira from the PDP, for running the industrial action, while (junior workers) were starved of funds and resources.
Unconfirmed rumour milling around the state capital, has it that, the labour leaders were given a sum of N31 million by PDP leaders, to prosecute the current industrial action, with the sole aim of bringing the Aregbesola administration down before the public.
The current harmonious relationship among unions may crumble, as there are indications that NULGE may back out from the strike, following the readiness of the state government to pay N19,001, as minimum wage for workers on salaries grade levels one to seven and pro-rata increment across all levels of public workers.
Investigation had further revealed that junior public workers had shown their willingness to resume at their respective duty posts, while local government workers, being the major beneficiaries of the increment were anxious to return to their various offices.
The junior workers (levels one to seven) who were the major beneficiaries of the new salary scale of the state government, according to findings, are the major assets of the state government.
According to the new salary scale table of the state government, the least paid government worker in the state would earn N19,001 monthly, just as there is N7,429.50 increment on the salaries of workers from levels 8 to 10,and N6, 611 increment for workers from levels 12 to 14, while there is N5, 096.40 increment on the salaries of workers from levels 15 to 17.
Findings showed upon the announcement of the new salary scale of the state government, majority of the workers had expected the leadership of the TUC, NLC and NULGE to call of the strike action and resume fresh negotiation with the state government.
However, the workers were baffled, when their leaders insisted on continuation of the strike action, at the previous congress held last Friday at Fakunle Comprehensive High School, Osogbo, a development that hastily forced them out of the premises.
At the entrance gate of the congress premises, OSUN DEFNDER heard some workers complaining of idleness, paucity of funds and disappointment over their leaders’ action, as the strike action persists.
Some of them were accusing their leaders of excesses, while some were accusing the leaders of dancing to the tune of the PDP.
However, sources within the NLC, TUC and NULGE had confided in the medium that the failure of Aregbesola to pamper the leadership of the labour unions through backdoor settlement of the labour crisis, was responsible for the determination of their leaders to continue with the strike action.
Unlike the sacked Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola, who always bribed the labour leaders whenever crisis occured, the current administration, according to the sources, had failed to reach out to the labour leaders.