The Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress in Osun State, Mr. Jacob Adekomi, said on Tuesday that Governor Rauf Aregbesola had approved the payment of December 2014 salary for workers in the state.
Adekomi, who said this at a press conference he addressed after a meeting with the government delegation, led by the Chief of Staff, Mr. Gboyega Oyetola, added that the governor also approved the payment of the 30 per cent balance of November salaries of some workers who were yet to be paid in full.
The NLC boss, however, said that workers would not suspend their strike action despite the payment of their one month salary out of seven months.The Head of Service, Mr. Sunday Owoeye, also confirmed that workers had started receiving bank alerts for the balance of November and December 2014 salaries.
He said this in response to an inquiry earlier sent to him by our correspondent through text message.
Owoeye’s text read, “They are already receiving alerts for the balance of November, and part of December, 2014. A journey of 1000km starts with one step. The man who removes a mountain starts by carrying stones away.”
But Adekomi explained that most workers would not get anything from the one month salary paid because their banks would use the meagre money for loan repayment and interest.
According to Adekomi, most workers will not have anything left to feed themselves, let alone transport themselves to their places of work. Because of this, he said the strike would continue.
The NLC chairman said, “We appreciate the efforts of the government to see that salary and pension arrears are settled without further delay. Our negation with the government is that out of eight months owed us, the minimum we can take is five months to resume work.
“As it is now, the strike continues while negotiations also continue. I appeal to all workers in the state to continue to stay at home until further notice.
“This payment is as good as no payment, because all deductions must have been made by our various banks. Because of this, there won’t be money for us to transport ourselves to work and feed our families.
“Until we have enough money to feed and take care of our transportation to work, we will not resume work. The strike continues.”
The governor had on June 14 promised to pay workers’ salaries in a statement made available to our correspondent by his media aide, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon
Most workers were being owed seven months’ salaries but the statement was silent on whether the governor would pay all outstanding salaries or he would pay a part.
The statement read in part, “Before the end of June, workers would be paid their salaries.”
The governor stated that he had a great dream for the state and that was why he was in a hurry to begin many programmes which had earned him applause even outside the country.
He said further, “The dream has not gone awry and it is a clear vision that Osun must be on its feet, self-reliant and be a reference point in Nigeria. The race to ensure development within the first term of Aregbesola was informed by the fear of what is happening now.”