By James Ogunnaike – Abeokuta
The organised labour in Ogun State on Friday called off its seven days warning strike embarked on Wednesday
The Chairman of the Ogun State chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Emmanuel Bankole made the announcement during the signing of Memorandum of Understanding on the request of the workers
The workers had embarked on the warning strike to press home their demands which included the implementation of the N30,000 minimum wage, suspension of the controversial Pension Reforms Act of 2020 immediate payment of 3-year arrears of leave bonus amounting to N9.2bn, immediate payment for 3 years arrears of gratuities of N24bn and an additional payment of about N1.2bn for the underpayment by the last administration to some categories of retired personnel.
Others are gross payment of salaries to include regular remittances of all deductions as well as payment of outstanding 3-year promotion arrears from 2018-2020.
The summary of these demands by labour according to the state government was the immediate disbursement of about N32.5bn and additional N2bn monthly on top of the current wage bill.
The government team led by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Tokunbo Talabi, however on Friday resumed negotiation with the leadership of the organised labour comprising of the NLC led by Comr Emmanuel Bankole, Trade Union Congress (TUC) led by its acting Chairman, Comrade Akeem Lasisi and Chairman of Joint Negotiating Council (JNC) Comr Olanrewaju Folorunsho among other labour leaders in the state.
Reading the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by both the government and the labour leaders at the Press Centre, Governor’s Office, Oke Mosan, Abeokuta, the NLC Chairman, Comrade Bankole said that the government has agreed to commence payment of the new minimum wage of N30,000 for its workforce from October this year.
He said the government has also agreed to be paying N500m on a quarterly basis starting from January 2020 to defray the accumulated gratuities.
Bankole said the government also pledged to immediately commence the process of conducting 2018-2020 promotion arrears.
The labour leader revealed that government also agreed to step down the controversial Pension Reforms Act 2020 said to have been passed by the House of Assembly without adequate inputs from the labour while a committee would be set up to fashion out the best pension system for the state.
He said while the government henceforth promised payment of gross salaries with all the deductions, labour and the government also agreed that all other requests of the workers would be subject of reviews slated for March 2021.
Bankole said having gotten the government’s commitment towards better welfare for the state workers with assurance that nobody who played one role or the other during the trade dispute would face any reprisal treatment, the labour has therefore called off the warning strike.
The government team led by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Tokunbo Talabi, Chief of Staff to the governor, Alhaji Shuaib Salisu, the Commissioner for Finance, Mr Dapo Okubadejo, the Head of Service, Alhaja Ottun signed the MoU on behalf of the government while the NLC Chairman, Comrade Bankole, his TUC counterpart, Alhaji Akeem Lasisi as well as Chairman of Joint Negotiating Council (JNC) signed on behalf of workers in the state.