6th July, 2011
Civil servants in Oyo State today aggressively resisted the attempt by their union leaders to accept Governor Abiola Ajimobi’s offer of a minimum wage that is less than the national benchmark of N18,000.
Suspecting that their leaders had reached a compromise with the Oyo state governor, they hauled stones and other objects at the leaders of the local chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), who had to scamper for safety.
It was a free for all shortly after a meeting at the NLC secretariat at Agodi Area of Ibadan where the leadership of NLC led by Comrade Basiru Olanrenwaju gave the report of the outcome of the meeting held with the government.
It was alleged that the representatives had agreed with the state government to pay less than N18,000 as minimum wage.
The governor had earlier agreed to pay N13,000 as minimum wage with a condition that it will increase when the monthly allocation increases.
Because the union did not reach agreement of what the minimum wage will be, the governor stated that he will continue paying the old salary which is N9,400 and this position was totally rejected by the workers.
The workers in spontaneity wasted no time in stoning their leaders for not insisting on N18, 000 minimum wage.
According to the chairmanâ€™s report, â€œWe met with the state government today and the governor said that the old rate of N9, 400 had already been paid into the workersâ€™ accounts and it was not ready to withdraw it. The salary was paid pending when agreement would be reached on the ongoing negotiation. The government said that it would pay the balance of the salary later after the negotiation would have been concludedâ€, Basiru said.
The workers were however not impressed by the report as they were expecting the leadership of the union to insist on the payment of N18, 000 which they had collected for the month of May, or in the alternative, embark on strike.
Angered, they started pelting the leaders with stones and expressed disapproval of the agreement with government.
By Gbenro Adesina