Governor of Oyo State, ‘Seyi Makinde, on Monday, assured the workers in the state that his administration would sustain the cordial relationship between itself and the Labour Unions, which had helped to enhance the growth, progress and development of the state.
The governor stated this while addressing the leadership and members of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) in the state at the frontage of the Governor’s Office, Secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan.
The governor, who regretted that last week’s protests by the workers had affected the revenue of the state, warned the Labour Unions not to allow anyone to come in between the government and the workers.
He added that henceforth his administration would hold a quarterly parley with the Labour Unions, which would serve to bring the government and the unions on the same page and ensure that their agitations were addressed without confrontations and protests.
This was as the chairman of the NLC in the state, Comrade Kayode Martins, stated that the workers had apologised to the governor and that most of their demands had actually been addressed since last week while workers were not at work.
The governor said: “I have engaged with your leaders and we have discussed. They begged me that some of these things that happened were not supposed to have happened and I also begged them that if there was anything that I did wrong, it is our state, governors would come and go.
“Five years ago, I was not here and in three years and some months to come, I will not be here as the governor, but our state will remain.
“So in everything that we do, let us remember that it is our state, we don’t have anywhere else that we can call home and anyone that wants to draw water from the well should not pollute that well.
“There are people who don’t want progress for our state, they will try to come in between you and I. But I have promised that every quarter, we will be having a parley with the leadership of the labour unions. We will ensure we close the gap between the government and the labour.”
Addressing journalists shortly after the governor’s address, the NLC chairman, Martins thanked the governor for addressing the workers personally, affirming that the governor had attended to some of their agitations and also directed the leadership of the unions to resume to the table to discuss the other issues.
Martins said that four months’ deductions of their salaries had been paid, while the governor had assured that the remaining two months deductions would be paid with August salary.
He stated further that the outstanding promotion letters of 2021 for workers were ready for collections, while pensioners too would continue to receive the payments of their gratuities by August ending.
“As you can see, the physical address by the governor goes a long way in changing the minds of everybody. We are all happy today and I can tell you that, once again, he has proved himself to be a governor that is workers-friendly. So, we appreciate the gesture from His Excellency.
“He has attended to some of our agitations and gave us his words that we should resume to the table to negotiate for the remaining part.
“On the deductions, the government has paid four months’ deductions, but simply because we were not on duty and could not receive the alert. He has said after that four, by the end of this month, the two remaining deductions will be paid.
“On our outstanding promotions of 2021, they have typed the letters but we could not dispatch them last week as a result of the strike. But now that they have resumed, we are believing that the letters will be rolled out.
“As per gratuity, he also promised that by the end of this month, the state government will begin to pay.
“We are demanding for other things but he has said we should come to the table for negotiation to work things out for the benefit of all.
“Kudos to the SSG, who summoned a meeting yesterday (Sunday) and we have come out with how we are going to be meeting quarterly whether the governor is around or not.
“We believe it is an achievement for us and we appreciate it.”