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Organized labour in Ondo set for showdown with Gov over percentage payment of arrears

The organized labour in Ondo state is set for a showdown with Governor Rotimi Akeredolu for introducing percentage and fractional salary payment for civil servants in the state, Daily Times gathered on Sunday.

The labour unions, the Joint Public Service Negotiating Council (JNC), Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) in the state, after rising from their emergency meeting held at the weekend, said workers in the state are “battle prepared” and would not accept any form of 80 percentage payment in the outstanding September salary arrears paid by the state government from the second tranche of the Paris Club refund.

Speaking shortly after the meeting, the state chairperson of the NLC, Bosede Daramola, accused the state government of not being sensitive to the plight of the civil servants in the state.

Comrade Daramola explained that despite an earlier warning letter presented to the state government against making any percentage payment of salaries to the workers, Mr. Akeredolu still went ahead by directing the Accountant General to effect the payment of eighty percent of the September arrears to the civil servants in the state.

She noted that the labour union leaders only agreed, with the representatives of the state government and where the governor was also present, on the utilization of the second tranche of the 75% Paris debt refund for workers on grade levels one to 14.

The NLC Chairperson added that civil servants in the workforce of the state only viewed the eighty-percentage payment made on Friday as gift and not their salaries until its full payment of the outstanding arrears are paid.

Daramola joined by the state chairman of the TUC, Soladoye Ekundayo, said it is authoritarian, erroneous and elementary for any political appointees of the Mr. Akeredolu to be claiming that the present administration did not owe civil servants in the state.

Both Daramola and Ekundayo also added that it is in the public domain that Governor Akeredolu statutorily inherited both assets and liabilities of his predecessors.

“If Governor Akeredolu’s administration can spend money left in account by his predecessor, he should also pay in full the debt and salaries owed by Mimiko’s government whenever funds are available instead of using his aides to attack labour Unions.

“We will do everything to reject introduction of percentage salary in Ondo state, no matter of government propaganda to blackmail us” the union leaders said.

The union leaders expressed reservation over the attitude of the Head of Service, Toyin Akinkuotu, for not doing enough to protect the combine interest of the state workers.

They also criticized the governor’s Senior Special Assistant on Special Duties and Strategy, Doyin Odebowale, for using unprintable names and unguided statements against the indigenes of the state and labour leaders.

They warned that the labour movement would be forced to put in the public domain his antecedents as an uncultured personality and advised Governor Akeredolu to call his aides to order.

The labour leaders who reminded Mr. Odebowale that government is a continuum, noted that the Paris Debt Refund that Akeredolu’s administration was claiming it could not be used to pay salary and pension in full, was a dividend of his predecessors.

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