Workers In Nigeria’s Ogun State Call Off Warning Strike

Workers in Nigeria’s Ogun State have suspended a seven-day warning strike which began on Wednesday.

The workers had embarked on the action to demand the payment of the N30,000 minimum wage as promised by Governor Dapo Abiodun. They also asked for the remittance of their cooperative deductions, payment of leave bonuses among others.

Three days into the industrial action, Organised Labour in the state announced its suspension, saying some of the workers’ grievances with the state government have been resolved.

The unions called off the warning strike after deliberation with the government in Abeokuta, the state capital.

The Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Tokunbo Talabi, who led the state delegation at the roundtable, said 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 a comprised between the workers and the government have been reached.

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He said, “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.”

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 the 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.

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He explained that N500m had been earmarked for the clearance of gratuity on a 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 the government for its prompt response.

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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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