The Ogun State Government has described the proposed strike action called by a few disgruntled elements in the state chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) as illegal.
In a statement issued by the Secretary to the State Government, Barrister Taiwo Adeoluwa, on Monday, the state government wondered why this few, unpopular elements would seek to lead workers out on a misguided strike action since government has not defaulted in the payment of salaries as and when due.
For instance, the Ogun State government paid its workers September salaries on September 25, 2016.
With regards to the backlog of unpaid cooperative deductions, the SSG added that the state government has also kept faith with an agreement it reached with labour leaders in March 2016 to the effect that one month of cooperative deductions would be paid, alongside monthly salaries, every two months.
“We promised to pay outstanding gratuities when we receive bulk funds from the Federal Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) but this has not been forthcoming due to the dwindling revenue profile of the state,” Mr. Adeoluwa said.
In addition to this, the Ogun State government is also aware of the fact that under the extant Public Service rules, the TUC/NLC, which signed the notice of strike action issued on Monday, have no roles in calling workers out on a strike action at the state level.
On the contrary, it is only the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council that is authorized to do so.
In view of this, the Ogun State government therefore declares the proposed strike action as illegal, unreasonable and totally uncalled for while urging the generality of its workforce not to heed the call of a few misguided elements whose motive is clearly political.
To buttress this point, the SSG said information at the disposal of the state government has shown that the labour leaders have ulterior motives beyond the protection of the interest of workers. This is further exemplified by what played out during the commemoration of the 2016 World Teachers Day when labour leaders, against the grain of Civil Service Rules, hired a musician and sang the praise of a politician for hours on end.
In the circumstance, the state government hereby serves notice that it will invoke the ‘no work, no pay’ rule of the Trade Dispute Act in relation to any worker who chooses to embark on this illegal strike action.