Against the backdrop of the total breakdown of hitherto harmonious relationship between Osun State government and the labour unions, regarding the planned indefinite strike action, scheduled to start after Christmas break, the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Adelani Baderinwa on Friday allayed the fears of the people, assuring that existing differences would would amicably resolved soon.
It would be recalled that Osun State Joint Public Service Negotiating Council 1, 11 and 111 had issued a strike notice, mobilising the workforce in the state ahead of a full blown industrial action, which is expected to begin next Wednesday.
In a joint press statement endorsed by the state chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Jacob Adekomi, his Trade Union Congress (TUC) counterpart, Comrade Bowale Adekola, chairman of the Joint Negotiating Council (JNC), Comrade Bayo Adejumo, the labour said “we salute the uncommon support we enjoy from the entire workforce of Osun State and we trust that the unfailing God would see us through this unpleasant time”.
The statement reads, “on this note, we enjoin all workers in Osun State to stay at home until otherwise directed by the labour leaders.”
Part of the labour’s demands include among others: the payment of 21 months salary arrears to workers on level 8 to 10 and level 12 and above, approval of promotion for workers, remittance of contributory pension allowance to the Pension Funds Administrators (PFAs) of all workers and payment of gratuities and monthly pension allowance to retirees.
While reacting to the imminent showdown of the workers, Osun State Commissoner for Information and Strategy, Mr Adelani Baderinwa, who spoke to Saturday Tribune on the phone expressed confidence that there would no strike on Wednesday as being planned by the labour.
According to him,
“I am confident that there would not be any strike. I have stringing conviction that we would have been able to resolve whatever differences that may cause such a strike.”
Speaking on the payment of November, 2017 salary to workers, he said that “the truth of the matter is that payment of the salary is automatic thing. Whatever they say, salaries are paid as at when due and we have never been defaulted.
When we were paying full salary and even modulated salary, we have never defaulted. The governor believe that it is sacrosanct for everybody to have his pay.”
On the speculation that Aregbesola walked out on the delegation of labour unions during the last meeting at the Government House, Baderinwa stated that
“it is not true that the governor walked out on the labour in annoyance. I remember that we issued a statement on what transpired during the meeting. As a matter of fact if there is anybody that is recalcitrant, I cannot really say if I should borrow your words.”
“As a matter of fact the meeting was held in the night and I remember that a dinner was prepared for the workers and governmet people that were around. The labour turned down the food and this was even included in our statement. So, there was no way the governor could have walked out.
The governor did not walk out on the labour delegation. What for. He had reasons to discuss with them because we are all stakeholders in this matter. There is no boss and there is no surbodinate in this matter. It is only circumstances that made governor the governor. Why would he walk out on any body.”
If anybody is saying that to you, that person is a liar and he is not saying the truth. The strike would be resolved before Wednesday next week because government and labour have always been dialoguing.
There has never been anytime we shirk in our responsibilities in discussing issues we have between ourselves. We have started working together in discussion and we would continue to discuss.
Before Wednesday, the issues would have been resolved and the harmony between the government and labour would continue.