Ekiti State Governor AyodeleFayose has promised to pay salaries to only workers who were not on strike.
The organisedlabour had on Thursday began an indefinite strike to press home the demand for the outstanding five months salaries of workers, among other issues.
The governor however, stated that embarking on strike was not the solution to the little financial resources available to the government, which had led to irregular payment of salaries in the last few months.
Fayose stated this while featuring on an interview programme on the state-owned radio and television stations in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital.
Fayose complained that the state was handicapped by the continuous slide in statutory allocations coming to the state and the general economic recession in the country.
He said, “Since I assumed office, every month the allocation paper comes from Abuja, a committee made up of labour leaders and other stakeholders has been the one sharing whatever comes among all sectors. If I am not hiding anything from labour leaders and workers, I expect them to understand. I feel their pain but there is limit to what I can do in this type of situation.
“Workers at the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital under the auspices of JOHESU have written that they are not on strike and people like that will be paid from what came from Abuja.
“Since I have no power to stop workers from going on strike, I wish them well; but we need to understand what the situation is like. They cannot say that I have not consistently been alerting Nigerians since late last year that a time like this is coming. In fact, the next allocation may be smaller than the one we are complaining about now.”
The Nigeria Labour Congress, Ekiti State, had earlier said it was prepared to enter into negotiations with the government if the latter is willing.
The chairman of NLC in the state, Raymond Adesanmi, said that although the unions were willing to negotiate with government, there was no sign that the government was forthcoming.
“If they call us, we will negotiate with the government. We are ready to negotiate, but as I speak to you they are not ready,” Mr. Adesanmi said.
“For us we are at peace. We will continue our strike which is very effective with the full compliance of members.”
He explained that the government arranged for a meeting with labour earlier on Friday, but called it off.
“The government slated a meeting with us, and they also canceled it, citing unforeseen circumstances. I don’t know if there is anything unforeseen in Ekiti right now,” Mr. Adesanmi said.
But Special Assistant to the governor on Public Communications and New Media, LereOlayinka, denied any planned meeting with labour.
According to him, with the pull out of health workers from the strike, labour is left with schools and local government employees.