Unpaid salaries: Ondo traditional rulers, workers’ meeting deadlocked

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Segun Mimiko, Ondo State Governor

Segun Mimiko, Ondo State Governor

Traditional rulers in Ondo State on Thursday met with the leadership of the organised labour in the state to appeal to the workers who have been on industrial strike for over a week over nonpayment of their salaries.
The traditional rulers, led by the Chairman of the state Council of Traditional rulers, Osemawe of Ondo, Oba Victor Kiladejo, said the meeting was organised to appeal to the workers, but not to negotiate with the workers.
Nigerian Tribune, however, gathered that the meeting with leadership of the workers’ union and the traditional rulers was deadlocked as the representatives of the workers maintained that the state government must pay the five months salaries before returning to their offices.
The strike action, however, took another dimension on Thursday, as the striking workers in the state stormed some major roads in Akure, the capital city, to protest against the nonpayment of their salaries from January till date.
The striking workers, who assembled at the state secretariat as early as 7a.m., chanting various anti – government songs, carrying placards of various inscriptions, such as “Mimiko pay our salary, we can’t feed our families, “workers are dying of hunger, ise pupo, iya repete (much work, more sorrow), among others.
The workers accused the state government of insensitivity to their plight, saying some of the workers have lost their lives while some have been turned to beggars.
The protest that lasted for over four hours was led by the chairmen of JNC, NLC and TUC in the state, while the main gate leading to the Government House was blocked by the workers, denying the state governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko access.
The governor, however, pleaded with the workers to suspend the strike, saying there wasn’t enough money in the government’s coffer to settle the accumulated salary arrears, assuring that the salaries would be paid as soon as the economy of the state improves. But all the appeal of the governor fell on the deaf ears of the workers.
Speaking on behalf of the workers, the state chairman of JNC, Comrade Sunday Adeleye, vowed that since there was no indication that the state government was ready to pay workers’ salaries, the industrial action would continue indefinitely.
Tribune

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