Ogun workers’ strike: Government insists no work, no pay
Government workers in Ogun State kept their word, yesterday, as they began an indefinite strike, to force payment of allowances and refund of deductions from their cooperative societies.
Their demands include: “Immediate payment of outstanding 12 months unions’ check-off dues, outright stoppage of contributory pension deductions, and immediate payment of 12 months of deductions, which include (bank loans’ repayment, co-operatives’ savings, Ileya/festivals savings, and gradual payment of retiree gratuity).”
Response to the action was total as all activities in government parastatals, agencies, and schools were grounded.Appeal to the workers by monarchs in the state fell on deaf ears. A 21-day ultimatum they gave the government expired, yesterday.
The governor’s office at Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, which houses ministries and some parastatals, was deserted. Only permanent secretaries and directors were seen offering skeletal services.
Armed policemen and personnel of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) manned the entrances to the office and the secretariat of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Leme, Abeokuta.
Schools The Guardian visited included African Church Grammar School, Catholic Comprehensive High School and St. Leo College, all in Abeokuta. Though, the gates were open, teachers and students were absent.
One civil servant, who spoke under condition of anonymity, said: “The strike is justifiable. Enough is enough! The governor should settle all our outstanding salary deductions!”
The state government, however, insists the workers’ action “is illegal and politically motivated.” Secretary to the State Government, Taiwo Adeoluwa, told reporters in his office in Abeokuta that the government would “invoke no-work, no-pay rule.”
“Ogun is currently one of the few states in the federation that is able to pay workers’ salaries as and when due, in spite of the current economic downturn,” he said, adding that the state remained committed to the welfare of workers.