Labour, Kwara Workers, Union, Minimum wages, Strike, Industrial action, Court, NLC, TUC

•Govt lying, allocation can conveniently pay minimum wage – TUC boss, Adegoke

•We’ll sustain industrial action until our demands are met – NLC chair, Ore

The organised labour in Kwara has urged the entire workforce in the state to remain in their various houses until otherwise directed by their respective unions.

“The leadership of the labour movement in the state salute the cooperation of all the workers of this state for the total support for the ongoing strike in the state as well as their courage despite all odds. This is to inform the generality of the workers in the State Public Service and the Local Governments that the ongoing strike still continue,” reads a statement jointly signed by the state Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Aliyu Issa Ore, Ag state Chairman Trade Union Congress (TUC) Ezekiel Adegoke and state Chairman, Joint Negotiating Council (JNC-TUS) Saliu Suleiman, and made available to newsmen on Tuesday.

“Every worker should remain at home as any any ministry or offices will be seriously dealt with.

“No worker should come to the work until they were directed by the leadership of the labour movement.

“We will make sure that nobody is victimized or harrassed by government in this respect.”

The labour is currently on industrial action following the state government’s failure to honour its ultimatum on the payment of the new minimum wage.

THE INFORMANT247 earlier reported that the labour leaders had on given the state government 14-day ultimatum to start payment of the new national minimum wage at a press conference in Ilorin on September 28.

Speaking earlier today (Tuesday) during a Programme on Sobi 101.9FM, the Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Kwara State chapter, Alhaji Issa Ore disclosed that the ongoing strike would be sustained until workers demands are met.

He said, “We earlier said if the government did not abide by our stand of N30,000 minimum wage we would go on strike and now we are on it.

“If the government is not willing to pay the minimum wage as long as the workers under us agree, we would continue the strike even if it is for a year.”

Speaking during same programme, his Trade Union Congress counterpart, Ezekiel Adegoke insisted that the government’s claim that it cannot pay the minimum wage with the current allocation is a “pure lie”, adding that Kwara can convieniently pay the new wages without any negative effect.

He said, “It is the workers that sent us on this errand that the government would pay them a minimum wage of N30,000. On meeting with the government, they declined the offer that they can’t pay such and the members of the labour made it known that going on strike is the way out for them.

“The leaders of the Unions do not have the sole power to quit the strikes rather it would be a demand from the workers that they want the strike to be put to an end.”

Adegoke further said there was no court injunction stopping the industrial action, tagging it as “rumour”.

He added, “The claim from the government that they can’t pay the minimum wage with the current allocation is a pure lie, the government can convieniently pay the minimum wage without any negative effect. The government are just not being sincere with the workers on the financial stability of the state.

“Every month, there are workers who retire from the civil service, a worker collecting N90,000 while in service would be collecting N70,000 after retirement where is the other money going into, that is a 20percent deduction from the salary where is the 20percent heading to? Yet the government wage bill is always the same range, is this not a shady matter.

“Secondly, the joint allocation committee (JAAC) meeting do involve the leaders of the labour unions but for reasons best known to the government, we were excluded from the meetings as if we don’t have the right to know how much we earn as a citizen of the state.”

Meanwhile, Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq earlier today said that there is no ongoing strike in the state “as far as the government is concern”, insisting that there is a court order stopping labour from embarking on industrial action.

“There is a court injunction and as far as the government is concerned there is no strike. Everybody should report to work. We will work on how to improve facilities in our state as much as we will pay salary of our workers,” AbdulRazaq said when he visited the dilapidated Banni Community Secondary School in Ilorin.

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