Government activities were grounded in Ogun on Thursday as civil servants commenced indefinite strike over non-remittance of over 12 months deductions from their salaries.
The development followed a directive issued by the Joint National Public Negotiating Council on Monday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the entire secretariat at Oke Mosan, Abeokuta, was deserted by workers with only top civil servants including Permanent Secretaries and Directors seen at their duty posts.
NAN gathered that workers across the council areas in the state also joined in the strike, while public schools and court rooms remained under lock and key.
In some of the schools visited including African Church Grammar School, Catholic Comprehensive High School and St. Leo’s College all in Abeokuta, students were sent back home.
NAN also reports that there was the presence of heavy security personnel at the two entrances to the state secretariat.
One of the workers, who spoke with NAN under condition of anonymity, said that the strike was justifiable, insisting that the state government should settle deductions.
“The strike is justifiable, enough is enough, the governor should please settle all our outstanding salary deductions,’’ he said.
The Secretary to the State Government, Mr Taiwo Adeoluwa, however, told newsmen in his office, said that the strike was “illegal, politically motivated and no basis for justification.”
Adeoluwa said that the government may invoke the “no work no pay rule.’’
“Ogun is currently one of the few states in the federation that is able to pay workers salaries as at when due, in spite of the current economic downturn,’’ he said.
Adeoluwa said that the state government remained committed to the welfare of the workers in the state.
Meanwhile, a circular from the office of the State NLC Chair which directed that workers begin the sit-at-home strike from today, also highlighted some of their demand, which the state government was unable to fulfill.
This circular reads:
Ref: No.C.1/12/246 17th Oct2016
OGUN STATE WING
COMMENCEMENT OF STRIKE ACTION;
The Nigerian Labour Congress of Ogun State Chapter, wish to inform all her affiliates and veterans and Local Chapters that 21-day ultimatum issued by organised labour to Ogun State Government will expire by midnight of Wednesday 19th October 2016 on the following;
(i) 12 month unpaid global deductions
(ii) 72 month unremitted Contribution Pension Scheme (CPS) against Contribution Pension Act
(iii) Abolition of statutory Joint Allocation Committee contrary to 1999 Constitution thereby crippling Local Government Service inOgun State.
(iv) Non-payment of Gratuities since October 2012.
(v) Non-release of 2015 promotion
(vi) Failure to pay 15-month salary of TAISCE workers
(vii) Arbitrary and forcefull seizure of union dues and attempt to cripple unionism in Ogun State.
(viii) Collection of application fee for land, housing and car loan without access to any of this promised loan by Ogun State Government.
In line with the above, the Nigeria Labour Congress Ogun State hereby direct all affiliates and supporters to proceed on total and indefinite strike with effect from Wednesday midnight 20th October,2016.
All members are directed to comply fully with this directives of Organised Labour.
Hi Soleto! Hi Africa!
Abdul Sabur. O. Salaam
State Chairman Ag.State Sec St
Ambali Akeem.O. Abdul Sabur.O.
Ag.Asst State Sec. State Treasure
Shodiya Mathew .B. SteveModupe