The Nigeria Labour Congress in Ekiti State on Thursday threatened to embark on strike, if Governor Ayodele Fayose failed to pay them two months’ salaries and pensions from July.
The union berated a group under the auspices of Ekiti Workers’ Rescue Team led by former Chairmen of Nigeria Labour Congress, Ayo Aluko, and Trade Union Congress, Kolawole Olaiya, for issuing a strike threat to the state government over the backlog of salaries.
The NLC said the two men lacked the power to make statements for workers as they were not recognised by the state and national executives of the union.
The union also accused the members of staff of the State’s Board of Internal Revenue of withholding information on the internally generated revenue accruing to the state monthly.
The labour union said that had made it difficult for the leadership to constructively engage the state government.
At a press conference in Ado Ekiti on Thursday, the Chairman of Ekiti State NLC, Ade Adesanmi, exonerated the labour leaders from any compromise in the payment of salaries, saying workers would have been sacked but for their efforts.
He said, “When the inability to pay salaries began, the present government came with an option of downsizing the workforce or allowing two months’ allocations to be added to pay one month’s salaries. In the interest of our people, we took the second option.
“As labour leaders, we are supposed to be apolitical and that position we maintain till now. Now, the election has come and gone but the pitiable situation of our members occasioned by the non-payment of salaries and pension of senior citizens still persist and it is worrisome.
“Letters have been written to the outgoing government to set the machinery in motion for the payment of backlog of arrears of salaries and pensions to fulfil its promise not to leave Ekiti as a debtor. This time, we want to hold Governor Fayose to his words.
“Workers are dying, pensioners are dying and the governor, as a father to all, should ensure that our pains are relieved as soon as possible. We have suggested that from the July allocation, the government should mop up all funds and start paying two months’ salaries, the failure which labour may not be able to guarantee industrial peace and harmony in Ekiti.”
The union, however, urged workers to disregard information from the so-called Ekiti State workers Rescue Team.