Priscilla Ediare, Ado-Ekiti
Organised labour in Ekiti State, has, despite the economic leakages caused by the lingering Coronavirus pandemic, told Governor Kayode Fayemi not to contemplate any move for salary reduction of workers.
The labour unions, comprising Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress, also m requested immediate payment of outstanding salaries by Governor Fayemi, to ease the effect of lockdown on the populace.
Governor Fayemi, had on Tuesday, announced the slashing of salaries of himself, Deputy, Bisi Egbeyemi and political appointees by 50 percent.
They spoke at a press conference jointly addressed by the Chairmen of NLC, Com. Kolapo Olatunde and his counterpart in TUC, Com Sola Adigun in Ado-Ekiti prior to Friday’s Workers’ Day.
In his address, the NLC boss asserted that the menace of COVID- 19 has affected every worker, saying this time remains the most appropriate opportunity to assuage their sufferings by paying their salaries promptly as well as palliatives.
“We are still being owed three months salary arrears, outstanding leave bonuses, backlog of promotion arrears, while the minimum wage was yet to be implemented across board.
“As of today, the local government workers and primary school teachers are owed six months salary arrears while the secondary school teachers and civil servants are owed three months respectively. We have waited for over one year and we have done our best and make the right sacrifices.
“The national president of the NLC gave me a matching order to tell our governor that the salaries of our workers can’t take them home and there shouldn’t be any reason for government to think of pay cut in Ekiti.”
Olatunde appreciated the government and health workers in Ekiti for working hard to reduce the number of victims of COVID-19 to eight.
“The reduction in the number was because the government woke up early to take precautionary measures.”
The TUC Chairman, Com Adigun, said what the workers are collecting in Nigeria was never a living wage, expressing optimism that they will breathe a sigh of relief someday.
“We thank the governor and members of his cabinet for sacrificing part of their living wage to fight the menace of COVID-19. Workers are not collecting a living wage, so we are not expecting any reduction in our salaries.”
Adigun advised the government to deploy more energy to promote the welfare of the people and devise ways to defeat COVID-19 pandemic, Boko Haram insurgents, kidnapping, corruption and all manners of criminalities.
The TUC boss advised Ekiti government to encourage farming among civil servants, in the spirit of diversification, to halt sole dependence on federal allocation.