Workers in Edo are set to commence an indefinite industrial action on March 3, due to unresolved contentious issues bordering on salary and promotion with the State Government, Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in the state, Emmanuel Ademokun, has said.
The workers had embarked on strike in December, 2013 to demand the release of four years of outstanding promotion arrears to workers as well as the payment of 53.37 per cent salary relativity among others.
The strike which lasted four days was suspended to give room for more dialogue between the government and labour.
Ademokun regretted that two months after the Benin monarch intervened, the State Government had done nothing to address the contentious issues.
He said that efforts made to meet with the State Government for amicable discussion had constantly been rebuffed.
“We, however, sent a communiqué of our meeting to the governor and up till now, there is no response from him.
“Therefore, we have decided that come March 3, workers in Edo State are going to embark on in an indefinite strike and the strike will not be called off until our demands are met.
“This time around, we will not listen to any person. People who would want to prevail on us not to go on strike should first prevail on the governor to meet our demands,” he stated.
Special Adviser to the Governor on Media, Kassim Afegbua, expressed the willingness of the State Government to meet with the NLC on the issues raised by the workers. “If there is anything, it is that Comrade Adams Oshiomhole listens to all shades of opinions.
“Even some of us who are in government tend to query the governor’s magnanimity in deploring too much of his time to trying to explain issues. He does this by explaining policies, programmes and the direction of government to all stakeholders.
“The governor has remained pro-labour and he is one that listens to the agitation of labour. In some other states, you hardly see the chief executive officer of a state doing this but in Edo State, the governor has listening ears to all shades of opinions. This is because of his background as a labour leader.
“To us, strike should not be considered as the first option. It is only when you do not have opportunity to dialogue on issues that you will want to resort to strike as a weapon to force the government to do certain things,” Afebua said.