The Oyo State chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) is adamant about engaging in direct negotiations with Governor Seyi Makinde to address the demands of civil and public servants and prevent an impending strike.
During a media briefing, Kayode Martins, the NLC chairman in the state, emphasized that they no longer wish to have discussions through intermediaries concerning the demands of workers and pensioners in the state.
Mr. Martins called on all workers in the state not to resume work at their respective offices on Monday but instead converge at the state government secretariat by 7:30 a.m. to compel the governor to address them directly.
He stated that the union had sent letters to the governor detailing their demands but claimed that the letters still needed to be delivered to him.
“We insist on meeting with the governor directly, without any intermediaries. If he meets with us, he will address our concerns. We haven’t had a roundtable discussion with the governor for the past four years.”
Among the demands presented by the workers’ unions, including NLC, Trade Union Congress, and Joint Negotiating Council, were the payment of salary deduction arrears, full salary payment, palliatives for workers, upward review of pensions, and payment of leave bonuses from 2021.
Mr. Martins also highlighted issues related to pension gratuities, arrears, and the need to review pension payment, which has not been updated since 2007. He expressed disappointment that the committee on palliatives, set up by the governor after petrol subsidy removal, has not convened a meeting or taken any action.
The high cost of living has caused immense hardship for workers, pensioners, and citizens of the state, making the daily commute to work a significant challenge for employees.
The outcome of the negotiation with the governor on Monday will determine the subsequent course of action by the union.
Mr. Martins clarified that the issues with the state government are distinct from any happenings at the national headquarters of the NLC.
Olusegun Abatan, the secretary of the Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP) in the state, added that some pensioners currently receive as little as N500 in monthly pensions. He revealed that the state’s assistance was last reviewed 20 years ago, and pensioners have been grappling with challenges following the removal of fuel subsidies.