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Workers Protest in Oyo State, Block Secretariat As Government Calls Labour for Dialogue

The protesting asked for payment of gratuities to retirees who are being owed since 2021.

Public workers and pensioners in Oyo State, on Monday, staged a peaceful protest  over myriads of issues affecting their welfare.

The protesting workers who converged at the State Secretariat as early as 8am were vehement in demanding to see Governor Seyi Makinde, to attend to their challenges with in person for immediate resolutions, or continue to occupy the state secretariat thereby crippling activities of governance.

This is just as the  state government rallied the protesting workers to discuss the issue of salary deductions exhaustively, before embarking on any form of protest.

The state government in a statement by the Commissioner of Information and Orientation, Prince Dotun Oyelade, the said only three months and not six months deductions are owed workers.

The protesting workers blocked the major entrance into the secretariat as they asked for payment of gratuities to retirees who have been stagnated since 2021.

Among others, the protesting workers also demanded for the release of their Letters of Promotion for the Years 2021 and 2022, respectively.

They insisted that they want Governor Makinde to personally address them over issues affecting workers in the state.

The state Chairman of Trade Union Congress (TUC), Comrade Bosun Olabiyi, who outlined some of their agitations, said failure of government to remit deductions from their salary for cooperatives, and other statutory commitments amongst other concerns in the face of current economic hardship caused by fuel subsidy removal necessitated the protest

He also argued that various attempts to discuss with the governor to resolve some of their agitations had been unfruitful as the government had continued to abuse rules of engagement.

Also speaking in the same vein, the state Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Kayode Martins, said the state organized labour union had been misrepresented in its dialogue with the government hence the need to have a meeting with the governor in person to resolve their agitations.

Oyelade said every state in the country owes workers salary deductions and the three months owed by the state is the least, stating that the workers had shown over the years that they are in support of the present administration because of good governance and should reflect on the disposition of government to workers’ welfare. 

 According to him, “while the July salaries have been paid in Oyo State, not less than 20 states including Ondo, Plateau, Benue and Bayelsa are owing several months of salaries in arrears, while several more including neighboring states are owing months of deduction arrears.

 “The Oyo State government started the implementation of the N30,000 minimum wage three years ago, yet up till now many states are still struggling to pay the old wage.

“While it is the right and entitlement of our workers to access their wages, especially at this tough time, government implores them to reflect on the sincerity of purpose of this administration.”

Kemi Olaitan in Ibadan

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