Priscilla Ediare, Ado-Ekiti
Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, on Friday announced some palliatives for vulnerable workers in the state employment to commemorate this year’s Workers’ Day.
Fayemi in an address to workers which was broadcasted on some radio and television stations in the state, said he had received the list of the beneficiaries of the government’s support from the leadership of organised labour in the state.
The governor reiterated that the welfare and improved working conditions of workers shall continue to be the priority of his administration.
Fayemi also commended the hard work and sacrifice of medical and health workers as well as other government officials in combating the Coronavirus pandemic.
He said his administration would continue to play its part in making the working environment conducive for Ekiti workers in order to inspire them to give their best in the implementation of government policies and programmes.
Fayemi disclosed that a specific amount of money had been approved as succour for the vulnerable workers to commemorate this year’s May Day.
He said: “In commemoration of the year 2020 May Day, I have accepted the list submitted to me by the leadership of the Organised Labour i.e. Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) with details of those identified as the most vulnerable members of your unions.
“The sick (bedridden) workers, those involved in serious accident and/or on admission, those that became widows and widowers from January 1st, 2020 till date, and approved money to be given to them as little leverage of government support in commemoration of this year’s May Day.”
The governor commended the organised labour for standing firm in championing the course of workers employing effective strategies characterised by dialogue and responsible leadership.
While commending workers for their maturity, sacrifice and patience in the face of difficulties in the global economy, Fayemi noted that the atmosphere of industrial peace and harmonious working relationships are responsible for the landmark achievements recorded by his administration.
Describing this year’s Workers’ Day as an unusual celebration occasioned by the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic in every part of the world, Fayemi said he was addressing workers with mixed feelings.
The Governor noted said he was sad that the day could not be celebrated with pomp and pageantry as it had been the annual practice due to COVID-19 lockdown that keeps the entire world indoors but with pride at the commitment and sacrifice made by workers in combating the pandemic.
He regretted that the state Public Joint Negotiation Council was on the verge of concluding negotiations on the consequential adjustment of the minimum wage when the effects of the pandemic dealt a fatal blow on the global, national and state economies.
The governor noted that while this may affect the resumption of negotiations, he was optimistic that the state would come out of the present situation to facilitate the conclusion of the process and its consequential adjustment.
Fayemi further assured that his administration would continue to pay N30,000 minimum wage for junior cadre in the public service and have reinstated merit-based appointments to elevate the standards of of the public service.
He disclosed that official vehicles have been allocated to serving and some retired Permanent Secretaries, while investment in training and capacity building has increased.
He said further: “Also, it is on record that all outstanding promotions as at December 2019 had been addressed across the public service. Work is progressing steadily on the abandoned structures at the State Secretariat complex to ease the challenges of inadequate office accommodation for our workers.
“Housing and car loans are being granted to workers. Our new policy of six months maternity leave for women in the public service which took effect from February 1st, 2020, is aimed at reducing to the barest minimum infant and maternal mortality rate, as well as facilitate work-life balance for female workers in the state.
“All of these are geared toward making life and working more comfortable for Ekiti workers,” he added.