Ogun workers call off warning strike

Yetunde Fatungase

Abeokuta  – Organised Labour in Ogun has called off its seven-day warning strike which started on Wednesday, following resolution of some of the workers’ grievances with the state government.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the unions called off the proposed seven days warning strike on Friday after a heated deliberation with the state government in Abeokuta.
Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Tokunbo Talabi, who led the state delegation at the roundtable, submitted that the government recognized the legitimacy of the requests and demands made by labour.
He, however, noted that all differences could not be resolved at once but “we have gotten to a point of where we feel that the differences have been so reduced that our lives can move on.
“It has to be continuous; we are bound to have differences in opinion which we will come to an agreement,” Talabi said.
Reading out the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), Ogun Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Emmanuel Bankole, gave reasons why labour called off the strike.
He said that organised labour
acknowledged state government’s willingness to meet the requests of the state workforce, after considering affordability and sustainability of government towards accommodating the resultant increment in view of the state’s present financial standing.
Bankole said some of the issues resolved included implementation of the new minimum wage to commence in October; payment of gratuity; outstanding promotion arrears of 2018 to 2020 and the 2020 Pension Amendment Bill, among others.
He explained that N500 million had been earmarked for the clearance of gratuity on quarterly basis, while payment would commence latest by January 2021.
“The meeting agreed to suspend action on the proposed Year 2020 Pension Amendment Bill with the plan to constitute a committee comprising both representatives of government and labour to take an in-depth look into the issue.
“The meeting also agreed that other demands by organized labour would be subject of joint reviews, the first of which will be in March, 2021,” he said.
Bankole, who was accompanied by the Joint Negotiating Council (JNC) Chairman, Olanrewaju Folorunsho, and Acting Chairman, Trade Union Congress (TUC), Akeem Lasisi, appreciated government for its prompt response.
He also commended government’s commitment to sustain payment of gross salary henceforth.
The labour leader, however, prayed government not to victimize any of its members for the roles played during the industrial action.
He promised that the state workforce would reciprocate the good gesture of government with continued dedication to duty.


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