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Ekiti workers begin strike over unpaid salaries, deductions




The industrial action declared by Ekiti State workers yesterday paralysed government activities, as all government offices and public schools were under lock and key.

But the State Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose in a state-wide broadcast appealed to workers to suspend the strike because the state cannot afford their demands at this moment.

The workers, under the auspices of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and Joint Negotiating Council (JNI), had embarked on an indefinite strike on Thursday to press home for series of demands from the state government.

The unions had last week Tuesday issued 24 hours ultimatum to Governor Ayodele Fayose to pay a sum of N512 million being money deducted from December 2015 salary or face industrial crisis.

The strike was later shelved due to the nationwide strike declared to protest hike in fuel price by the Federal Government.

After the suspension of the nationwide strike on Sunday night, the unions after their joint meeting of Tuesday, May 24 issued another 48 hours to the governor on the need to comply swiftly with some of their sundry demands to avert crisis, which lapsed on Wednesday’s midnight.

A statement signed by chairmen of TUC, Comrade Odunayo Adesoye, NLC, Ade Adesanmi and JNI Secretary, Oladele Blessing, said the strike became the last resort after they had displayed uncommon understanding over the state’s financial status.

The workers are demanding: the release of the staff audit and verification conducted in April , 2015, disclosure of the monthly internally generated revenue, payment of arrears of salaries pension and gratuities, payment of September 2014 salary to primary school teachers, payment of 2014 and 2015 leave bonuses among other demands.

The labour leaders said: “Your Excellency Sir, we have remained calm since these days hoping that respite will soon come our ways, but hope is becoming a mirage. Besides, there is a limit to endurance”, they said.

But Fayose said the state only got a sum of N751 million from the federation account for the month of April against a sum of N1.3b got for March.

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