Governor Ibikunle Amosun and the organised labour in Ogun state, have reached a consensus on the contentious backlog of unremitted deductions and non-payment of gratuities.
Also, the state government has soft-pedalled on its threat to invoke ‘no work, no pay’ rule against workers who recently embarked on indefinite strike to protest their demands.
The truce, between the government and the labour was reached after a closed-door meeting between Amosun and leaders of the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council (JNC), Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), and Trade Union Congress (TUC), among others, held at the Governor’s Office, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta on Thursday night.
Daily Independent recalls that the intervention of the House of Assembly, traditional rulers and well-meaning personalities in the state, made the striking workers to suspend their industrial action for two weeks.
Speaking with reporters at the end of the meeting, Amosun disclosed the government had settled with labour leaders and expressed satisfaction with their decision to resolve pending issues with his administration.
He, however, blamed the failure of the state to meet up with its indebtedness to the dwindling economic situation of the country.
Amosun, noted that despite the state of economy, Ogun is among the few states that regularly pay salaries and fulfil their obligations to workers.
“We have seen the position of our state, the economy is in slowdown, it is not just Ogun State. For example, this month, the allocation that came to the state is almost N1billion and our commitment to workers, including local government staff, is about N8.4billion.
“Yes, deduction is important, gratuity is important, the contributory pension scheme that they mentioned is also important and even in the context of gratuity, Ogun State is above many other states in the country. But we will pay, not that we are not going to pay.”
Speaking with reporters, the JNC Chairman, Comrade Abiodun Olakanmi, said the labour leaders would go back and consult with the workers on the outcome of the meeting.
His words: “We had a very meaningful and positive meeting with the governor and all discussions went well; it is a continuous discussion. We only adjourned after seeing all the papers and documents.
“There is still assignment given to the labour that we are bringing back to the government next week. The prayers in our MoU is still sacrosanct; the labour and the government have reached a truce on the MoU.”
In his remark, the NLC Chairman in the state, Comrade Akeem Ambali, disclosed that the government rescinded its decision to apply ‘no work, no pay’ rule against workers.
Ambali said, “We had a very instructive meeting. The MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) earlier signed is to ensure the payment of the money that is owed Ogun State workers and based on that, we have agreed to re-work the mode of payment and we are coming back next week to present the final recommendation to the government.
“We want to reassure the Ogun State workers that government has not said they are not going to pay the money and the issue of ‘no work, no pay’ has been resolved amicably and again we have been reassured that this government is not going to retrench workers and based on that, it is a win-win situation and we are going to agree on acceptable resolution between the two parties.”