Friday, April 1, 2016 7:17 am
The Oyo State Government and labour unions have begun talks to address the irregularities in the payment of outstanding salaries and pension.
Mr Waheed Olojede, the Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress(NLC) in Oyo State, disclosed this to newsmen after a meeting between the state government and labour which lasted almost three hours.
Labour unions in the state had on Tuesday issued a seven-day ultimatum to the state government to invite them for dialogue on the five months unpaid salaries and pension
Gov. Abiola Ajimobi had ordered that a meeting with the labour unions be held on Thursday to address the issue.
“We are happy today that the entire labour movement in the state was invited for dialogue which we started around 3p.m.
“We rose from the meeting now on the understanding by the two parties that now that the negotiation has commenced, the negotiation will run within a short period.
“The negotiation is expected to conclude on how to address the irregularities in the payment of outstanding pension and salaries, ” Olojede said.
Olojede expressed the hope that government would within a short time invite labour for another meeting, adding that this should be seen as an opportunity that would end the crisis.
He urged workers in the state to remain calm and follow the negotiation process, assuring them that they would not be let down.
“ We will continue as leaders of workers in the state to fight for their welfare and industrial interest. This is our commitment.
“This is our responsibility and this we shall pursue to a logical conclusion,’’ he said.
He appealed to the government to ensure that within the next one week, all negotiations were completed so that the existing industrial peace in the state would be sustained.
Olojede, however, said that the earlier agreement on the use of 90 percent of the allocation to pay workers had become obsolete and must be reviewed to meet the prevailing circumstances.
“To us, what is coming from Abuja as allocation kept on dwindling and the 90 percent is no more relevant. That is why there must be a review,” he said.
Also speaking on the development, Mr Yomi Layinka, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Communication and Strategy, bemoaned the action of labour for portraying government as insensitive.
He told NAN that labour had breached the procedures of industrial relations by issuing a strike threat when the government had not reneged on an earlier agreement with the body.
“The labour unions goofed in their action because government had not in any way breached the agreement it had with labour.
“The labour unions had apologised for the action and we have conveyed their apology to the governor after the meeting,” he said.
Layinka said that the governor had instructed that the agreement of government with the unions be adhered to strictly as negotiations resumed.
The delegation of the state was led by Alhaji Ismail Alli, a former Secretary to the State Government.
In the team was also Mr Soji Eniade, the Head of Service.