Ondo workers reject fractional payment of salary arrears

The Organised labour unions in Ondo state at the weekend rejected the introduction of fractional or percentage payment of salaries by the state government, saying the 80 per cent September 2016 salary arrears paid by the state government to the workers was a mere gift to them.

The union had earlier warned the state government to desist from paying a certain fraction or percentage of outstanding salaries and pensions of workers in the state from the second tranche of Paris Club loan refund by the Federal government.

The leaders of the three unions, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and Joint Negotiating Council (JNC), after its meeting on Saturday night frowned over the development despite its warning against such moves.

The union expressed its disappointment over the governor’s directive to the state Accountant General on Friday to start paying 80 per cent of September 2016 salaries.

The leadership of the labour union, which included, Chairmen of NLC in the state, Bose Daramola and Sola Ekundayo of TUC during the meeting recalled that there was an agreement between the unions and the state government that the refund should be used to pay the salary of workers between Grade Level 1 to 14, describing the 80 per cent payment as a gift until the full payment of the September 2016 salary arrears is made.

The union described the moves as authoritarian, erroneous and elementary for political appointee to claim that the present administration did not owe workers, noting that it was well known that state governors statutorily inherited both assets and liabilities of their predecessors.

The unit said “If Governor Akeredolu’s administration can spend money left in account by his predecessor, he should also pay in full the debt and salaries owed by Mimiko’s government whenever funds are available instead of using his aides to attack labour Unions. We will do everything to reject introduction of percentage salary in Ondo state, no matter of government propaganda to blackmail us.”

The labour unions expressed disappointment over the attitude of the State Head of Service, Mr Toyin Akinkuotu, for not doing enough to protect the interest of workers in the state under the present administration,

They also berated the Senior Special Assistant on Special Duties and Strategy to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, Dr Doyin Odebowale, for using unprinted names and unguided statements against the indigenes of the state and labour leaders, advising governor Akeredolu to call Odebowale to order.

They however maintained that workers in the state would not accept gradual introduction of percentage or fractional salary in the state irrespective of political blackmail or propaganda from the present administration in the state.

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