By Suleiman Shehu
Workers in the Oyo State Public Service on Wednesday began a three-day warning strike over unpaid salaries and withdrawal of promotion by the state government.
The state Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Mr Waheed Olojede, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the workers were also protesting some other conditions.
Olojede said that the state Public Service Joint Negotiating Council, comprising the NLC and Trade Union Congress, had been negotiating with the state government over the issues for the past three weeks.
He said that one of the issues was `technical’ withdrawal of workers’ promotion earlier approved by the state Gov. Abiola Ajimobi, which the beneficiaries enjoyed for few months.
“The promotion was approved by the governor in February 2018, which implementation commenced in March 2018, and a good number of workers started enjoying it.
“To our surprise, by September 2018, the promotion was technically withdrawn by the Oyo State Government, and this led to setting up of a committee to meet the government to explain the reason.
“Other issues are outstanding salaries of workers in local governments and primary schools. They are yet to collect their December 2018 salaries which others have collected.
“In some local governments, workers are owed salaries of three to five months; this is why we said government must do the necessary things to ensure that workers are paid as and when due,’’ Olojede said.
The unionist told NAN that it was necessary for the government to address all the issues.
According to him, a meeting between the committee and the government on Tuesday was inconclusive.
“This led to the declaration of the three-day warning strike. We had earlier notified the government of warning strike.’’
The NLC chairman added that there were crisis in state-owned tertiary institutions.
He said that the institutions were facing one problem or the other and owed salaries and allowances, regretting that the situation had been leading to industrial unrest in the institutions.