Governor Abiola Ajimobi has warned workers in Oyo State against embarking on strike, saying the government would invoke the no-work-no-pay rule in line with Section 43 (1) of the Trade Dispute Act, 2010.
The threat was made through a statement by Secretary to the State Government, Olalekan Alli, in Ibadan on Wednesday.
Three labour unions – Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and Joint Negotiating Council (JNC) – had directed workers in the state to stay off their duty posts for three days from Wednesday.
The unions had stated that the three-day warning strike was to challenge the continued insensitivity of government to the plight of workers and in solidarity with some affected affiliate bodies.
Among the demands were the payment of 17-month salary arrears of workers in the state’s tertiary institutions as well as 56-month pension arrears and gratuity of retired primary school teachers.
The workers also want government to rescind its decision on the sack of 256 members of staff of LAUTECH Teaching Hospital, Ogbomoso.
The state government, however, described the declaration of the warning strike as illegal, unwarranted and unjustifiable.
It stated that government on receipt of a notification letter of the warning strike from the unions invited them for a meeting which they failed to attend.
“We have consistently honoured our obligations to labour by ensuring monthly salaries are paid from the 100% FAAC allocation to the state.
“We have also committed the Budget Support Fund, including over 70% of other receivables (Excess Crude and Paris Club Reimbursement) to payment of salaries,” it said.
Government, the statement added, had been fulfilling its responsibilities, commitments and function using other resources such as IGR, credits and grants at its disposal to satisfy the yearnings of the people.
It said that salaries and pensions of workers at the state level had been paid till November 2017.
The statement said that government was not responsible for the payment of workers in the institutions, considering the laws setting up the tertiary institutions.
“In order to assist them, government is only obliged to grant the tertiary institution’s subvention which each institution would apply to whichever area of need that its Governing Council and management may decide upon.
“The recent forensic audit reports on the tertiary institutions revealed a great deal of shortcomings such as inefficiency, leakages, poor management and ineptitude.
“Some institutions were even declared unsustainable and unviable. The consultant further recommended their closure.
“However, the recently constituted Governing Councils have been mandated to review their status and act suitably,” it said.