Labour unions in Osun State have warned Governor Rauf Aregbesola to stop the plan to cut workers’ salaries by 50 per cent.
The Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress in the state, Mr. Jacob Adekomi, who led other labour leaders to address journalists on the issue said on Friday that the decision would lead to an unimaginable chaos if it was not rescinded.
The workers said although the state government had not written to inform them officially about the pay cut but they said failure to stop the plan would be met with a very stiff opposition from the workers.
According to him, the state government has concluded plans to start paying workers the new rate starting from January 2015.
Adekomi said pensioners were paid 50 per cent of their pensions for November 2014 whereas the state government promised to pay them one month during the last meeting.
The NLC chairman stated that the salaries of the majority of the workers could not provide their basic needs, saying slashing the pay by 50 per cent would send many of them to their early graves.
Adekomi said, “It’s sad to inform the public that government had resolved to cut the salaries of public servants in Osun State by 50 per cent from January 2015 and we want to unequivocally say that it is unacceptable to the entire workforce in the State of Osun. It is satanic, wicked and suicidal for any government to arrive at this position after he had failed in his constitutional responsibilities for the past eight months.
” Never will the workers accept this. The situation the state government found itself was a product of its systemic failure and any attempt to cut the salaries of workers in the state by one per cent will be vehemently resisted and will lead to unimaginable chaos.”
Adekomi said the entire workforce in the state had been loyal to the Aregbesola administration but expressed surprise at the decision of the governor to slash the salaries of workers without negotiating with them on it.
Asked if the workers would accept pruning of the workforce if the government decided to toe that line, the NLC chairman said the workers would insist on getting all their salaries and gratuities before such policy could be implemented.
The press conference was punctuated with anti government songs by workers present calling the governor unprintable names.
The NLC boss added, ” We want to place on record that as a direct result of the failure on the part of the government to fulfill its constitutional responsibility, we had lost a couple of workers in the cold hands of death, while the chairman of pensioners in the state, at a meeting with the government on Tuesday June 20, 2015, confirmed that 350 deaths were recorded among pensioners in the last four months.”
The state Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, Mr. Wakeel Amuda, said workers should be ready to participate in a massive protest anytime soon if the government failed to rescind its decision of the pay cut.
Efforts to get the reaction of the governor to the salary cut were unsuccessful. Telephone calls to the governor’s media aide, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, were not answered.