Ogun workers suspend strike, as Amosun apologises
Organised labour in Ogun State on Wednesday suspended its two-week strike.
The suspension of the strike was announced in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, by the state Chairman of the Joint Public Service Negotiating Council, Abiodun Olakanmi.
Olakanmi, who addressed civil servants in the state at the Nigerian Labour Congress Secretariat, directed them to return to work on Thursday.
The development followed a tripartite meeting held on Wednesday in Abeokuta between officials of the state government and representatives of labour at the state and national level.
The meeting, which commenced at 10am at the Governor’s Office, ended at 6pm with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding.
The workers commenced an indefinite strike action on October 20 to protest non-remittance of 12 months deductions from workers’ salaries among other claims.
The meeting agreed that outstanding deductions should be paid on or before May 2017.
It also agreed that one year arrear of check-off dues should be immediately offset, while the government should set aside N200 million every other month for payment of outstanding gratuities effective November.
The meeting also agreed that the 2015 promotion result be released immediately, while a quarterly meeting between the government and labour should be held to promote industrial harmony.
It agreed that a joint committee of both the government and labour should be set up to consider issues concerning the contributory pension scheme and submit a report to the government within 90 days.
Governor Ibikunle Amosun, who also addressed newsmen after the meeting, apologised to all Nigerians over the industrial action in Ogun State.
Amosun said as a responsible employer of labour, the government realised its responsibility to pay salaries to its employees.
The governor said that the state was second only to Lagos state in terms of regular payment of salaries.
He, however, lamented that the harsh economic realities in the country had constrained the government in fully discharging its responsibilities to its workers.
Amosun said: “We have the best civil service in the whole of Nigeria and no governor dead or alive in Ogun had romanced or massaged the ego of the workers as I have done.”
On the issue of the dismissal of the state Chairman of the NLC, Akeem Ambali, and 15 other members of the union, Amosun said: “It is not connected with the issue of the strike.
“The government did not sack the affected workers because of strike but because they mixed work with politics.
“We shall, however, see what is possible.”
The governor gave an assurance that the government would implement all the agreements reached at the meeting.