COVID-19: Labour leaders warns Fayemi against cutting workers pay in Ekiti
As the lockdown caused by the spread of Coronavirus continues to have an adverse effect on the economy, the organised labour in Ekiti State has told Governor Kayode Fayemi not to contemplate any move for salary reduction despite the slump in the revenues of the government.
The labour unions, comprising Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress, also requested immediate payment of outstanding salaries by Governor Fayemi, to ease the effect of lockdown on the populace.
The warning is not unconnected with Governor Fayemi’s plans to slash his salary, that of his Deputy, Bisi Egbeyemi and political appointees in the state by 50 percent.
The labour unions spoke at a press conference jointly addressed by the Chairmen of NLC, Com. Kolapo Olatunde and his counterpart in TUC, Com Sola Adigun in Ado Ekiti ahead of this year’s Workers’ Day
In his address, the NLC boss said the menace of COVID-19 has affected every worker, stressing that now is the appropriate time to assuage the sufferings of workers by paying their salaries promptly as well as palliatives.
“We are still owed three months salary arrears, outstanding leave bonuses, a backlog of promotion arrears, while the minimum wage is yet to be implemented across board.
“As of today, the local government workers and primary school teachers are owed six months salary arrears while the secondary school teachers and civil servants are owed three months respectively. We have waited for over one year and we have done our best and made the right sacrifices.
“The national president of the NLC gave me a matching order to tell our governor that the salaries of our workers can’t take them home and there shouldn’t be any reason for the government to think of a pay cut in Ekiti”.
Olatunde appreciated the government and health workers in Ekiti for working hard to limit the number of patients of COVID 19 to eight.
“The reduction in the number was because the government woke up early to take precautionary measures”.
The TUC Chairman, Com Adigun, in his contribution said what workers earn in Nigeria was never a living wage, expressing optimism that they will breathe a sigh of relief someday.
“We thank the governor and members of this cabinet for sacrificing part of their living wage to fight the menace of COVID-19. Workers are not collecting a living wage, so we are not expecting any reduction in our salaries”.
Adigun advised the government to deploy more energy to promote the welfare of the people and devise ways to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic, Boko Haram insurgents, kidnapping, corruption, and all manners of criminalities.
The TUC boss advised the Ekiti government to encourage farming among civil servants, in the spirit of diversification, to halt sole dependence on federal allocation.
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