The choice before Ogun workers
The press statement of the Ogun State Government on “no work, no pay”, which was widely published in the papers, and the defiance reaction of Labour imply that those in the private sector, who ‘mind their own business’, may have to wait a little longer to conclude their transactions with the state government.
My former colleague lamented on phone that he travelled from Lagos to Abeokuta last week on two occasions but returned empty-handed as he could not confirm the stage of his file at the secretariat.
I have read much about the strike and my conclusion is that the workers are not yet ready to face the realities of these times in Nigeria.
From the press statement, it is evident that Governor Ibikunle Amosun is resisting pressure from some quarters to reduce the number of its workforce or in the alternative reduce the heavy monthly wage bill, that is, reduce the salaries of workers.
How will government pay you if you are not in your offices to generate income, especially now that there is virtually nothing coming to the states from Abuja?
I know how much my friend’s company is to pay into the government coffers and imagine how much the state would have lost to the industrial action.
If workers are not ready to know that there have been economic problems in Nigeria, now worsened by the drop in the oil income, should the Ogun State government face the realities and reduce the size of its workforce or reduce salaries?
The workers should think twice so that they do not push the government to the limits. It would have been a different thing if the government in the statement said it would not meet the demands of the Labour. But it said it would meet them once economic situation in the country became better. I would have been the first to castigate the government if it had said it would never meet those demands.
Let them call off the strike and sit at the round table with the government to see the way forward, realistically. This is my candid advice to the workers.
• Johnson Adetunji
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