The Trade Union Congress (TUC), Oyo State Chapter has issued a five-day ultimatum to the state government over the non-payment of seven months salaries and pensions to workers.
The TUC Caretaker Chairman, Mr Andrew Emelieze, made this known when he addressed newsmen in Ibadan on Monday.
Emelieze said that the union would embark on a mass action if government failed to address its demands.
He said the five days ultimatum was an added opportunity for government to the issues, adding that the initial 15-day ultimatum expired on Aug. 1.
The TUC had on July 11 stormed the state government secretariat to submit its demand to the government, issuing a 15-day ultimatum.
TUC’s letter was received by Mr Soji Eniade, the Head of Service on behalf of the government.
Emelieze said that the state government did not consult with them while the ultimatum lasted, inspite of their correspondence to them.
“We are not part of the unholy agreement between the state chapter of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the state government that suspended the seven weeks strike on July 25.
“We hereby condemn the unholy alliance and resolution between them. We are going to occupy the state secretariat if government fails to heed to our demands.
“We will bring our mattresses and pillows to the secretariat, while some will go on hunger strike,’’ he said.
He faulted the planned restructuring of the workforce by the state government, describing it as a ploy to retrench some workers.
The TUC chairman said that more than 30 per cent of the wage bill claimed by the state government was used in paying political office holders.
He also appealed to the Federal Government to cushion the economic hardship experienced across the country, saying the cost of living in the country was on the increase.
Also, Mr Emmanuel Ogundiran, the Chairman, Public Service Joint Negotiating Council (JNC), said that the state governor had only succeeded in deceiving the NLC to signing an unfavourable agreement.
“The agreement states that salaries will be paid for January and February in tranches. What will then happen after the payment?’’ he asked.
Ogundiran said that many of the agitations and agreement handled by both the NLC and TUC were supposed to be handled by the JNC, adding that they remained calm and watching.
He said that it was sad that the union had lost some of its members to the cold hand of death during the seven-week strike.
Gov. Abiola Ajimobi, had on July 30 in Ibadan told newsmen that there was no truth in the news that the state government was planning to retrench workers but to restructure.
Ajimobi said that he would restructure to make every worker in the service of the state functional and productive, adding that they would all be engaged.
On the outstanding salary, he said that the status of the state’s finance was made clear to the labour unions before the resolution to suspend the seven weeks strike.
“We have shown the workforce our bills and they have seen the reality. They have seen now that the strike could have been avoided initially to move the state forward.
“I don’t see any reason for any group to be coming up with any other thing to draw the state backward after the amicable resolution,’’ he said.
He said that his administration was poised at making the state self-sufficient and executing developmental-oriented projects across the state.
Ajimobi said that the situation was national, adding that several states were experiencing the same economic downturn.
“We aren’t wicked and will not watch the workforce suffer if we are buoyant. We have always been fair to our workers.
“When the state was buoyant, we increased their take home and gave them better packages,’’ he said.