*Oyo workers end protest
By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
Governor Seyi Makinde on Monday, declared that his administration will continue to be friends with the organized labour movement in the state.
The governor who said this while addressing the leadership and members of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) in the state at the frontage of the Governor’s Office, Secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan, advised labour unions in the state not to allow anyone to come in between the government and the workers,
He emphasized that his administration would continue to sustain the cordial relationship between itself and the labour unions, which have helped to enhance the growth, progress and development of the state.
In doing this, Governor Makinde said, his administration would be holding quarterly parley with the labour unions to bring the government and the unions on the same page and ensure that their agitations are addressed without confrontation and protests.
“I have engaged with your leaders and we have discussed. They begged me that some of these things that happened were not supposed to have happened and I also begged them that if there is anything that I did wrong, it is our state, governors will come and go”, he said.
The governor added, ” Five years ago, I was not here and in three years and some months to come, I will not be here as the governor, but our state will remain. So in everything that we do, let us remember that it is our state, we don’t have anywhere else that we can call home and anyone that wants to draw water from the well should not pollute that well.
“There are people who don’t want progress for our state, they will try to come in between you and I. But I have promised that every quarter, we will be having a parley with the leadership of the labour unions. We will ensure we close the gap between the government and the labour.” He assured.
Oyo State Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Kayode Martins, speaking with journalists after the governor’s address, commended Gov Makinde for addressing the protesting workers personally.
Comrade Martins said the governor attended to some of their agitations and also directed the leadership of the unions to resume to the table to discuss the other issues, saying, the four months’ deductions of their salaries had been paid, while the governor had assured that the remaining two months deductions would be paid with August salary.
He stressed further that the outstanding promotion letters of 2021 for workers were ready for collection, while pensioners too would continue to receive the payments of their gratuities by August ending, adding, “as you can see, the physical address by the governor goes a long way in changing the minds of everybody. We are all happy today and I can tell you that, once again, he has proved himself to be a governor that is workers-friendly. So, we appreciate the gesture from His Excellency.
“He has attended to some of our agitations and gave us his words that we should resume to the table to negotiate for the remaining part.
“On the deductions, the government has paid four months’ deductions, but simply because we were not on duty and could not receive the alert. He has said after that four, by the end of this month, the two remaining deductions will be paid”, he said
Comrade Martins added, ” On our outstanding promotions of 2021, they have typed the letters but we could not dispatch them last week as a result of the strike. But now that they have resumed, we are believing that the letters will be rolled out. As per gratuity, he also promised that by the end of this month, the state government will begin to pay”.
“We are demanding for other things but he has said we should come to the table for negotiation to work things out for the benefit of all.
“Kudos to the SSG, who summoned a meeting yesterday (Sunday) and we have come out with how we are going to be meeting quarterly whether the governor is around or not. We believe it is an achievement for us and we appreciate it.”