The Oyo State chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress on Monday directed that in line with the directive of the national leaders of NLC, all workers in the state should begin an indefinite strike on Tuesday.
Chairman of the union in the state, Waheed Olojede, who stated this after a meeting of the state executive, noted that the action became necessary after the state government owed months of workers’ salaries and retirees’ pensions.
Olojede explained that the state council had continued negotiation with the state government on the issue, but lamented that an agreement had yet to be reached when the national body of NLC directed that the strike should commence.
“You are all aware sufficiently that in the last few months in Nigeria, many state governments owe their workers salaries and pensions. Oyo State is one of those states. In the last few months, we have commenced negotiation with the state government on how best to pay outstanding salaries and pensions of the workers and retirees.
“We were on the process until last Friday when the national headquarters of the NLC issued a directive, instructing all state councils of NLC, where governments are owing salaries and pensions, to begin industrial action as from today, Monday 25, 2015.
“We have gotten in touch with the national leadership of NLC to make clarification on the action. Even when we notified them that the state NLC had commenced negotiation with the state government, the directive from the national headquarters insisted that notwithstanding our local arrangement, we must comply and begin industrial action.
“Because of this and the fact that no state council has the power to defy the authority of the national NLC, we immediately called a meeting of the state executive to review the directive and our process of negotiation.
“We therefore resolve that because of the law that established NLC, no state congress is higher than the national body.
“Arising from this position, we therefore resolved that we are left with no other option than to direct all workers in Oyo State to respect the national directive and stay at home from Tuesday.”
While expressing the optimism that the negotiation with the state would still resolve the issue, Olojede called on the state government not to abandon the negotiation.
He added that as soon as a resolution was reached, the state council would approach the national headquarters of the NLC with the view to getting the permission for the workers to resume work.