Public workers in Ekiti State on Tuesday shunned the meeting called by the state government to resolve the ongoing strike in the state.
The workers on Thursday began an indefinite strike to press home the demand for the payment of five months’ salaries arrears of workers among other issues.
The meeting, scheduled for Tuesday (yesterday), followed a declaration by Governor Ayodele Fayose to invoke the doctrine of “no-work, no-pay” in the face of labour’s insistence to continue with the strike.
It was to be attended by the chairmen and secretaries of the Nigeria Labour Congress, the Trade Union Congress, the Joint Negotiating Council, the Nigeria Union of Teachers, the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees and the Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools.
But the labour leaders failed to show up for the meeting. Instead, the secretaries of the NLC, TUC and JNC wrote the state government and asked for a new date, time and venue.
According to a copy of the letter sighted by our correspondent, the unions said the meeting should be rescheduled in the interest of peace. A leader of the labour told our correspondent that the unions took the decision because of the protest staged by driver unions against the strike earlier in the day.
“The leadership of organised labour has met this morning and resolved that in the interest of peace, security of life and property, the proposed meeting should be rescheduled to another day/date and venue,” the letter said.
Earlier on Tuesday, some artisans and commercial drivers, under the aegis of the Concerned Trade Unions in Ekiti State, had staged anti-workers’ protests in Ado Ekiti, accusing the leadership of labour of taking N25m bribe to destabilise the Fayose-led government.
The protesters, led by the Chairmen of Road Transport Employers’ Association of Nigeria, Mr. Samuel Agbede, and the National Union of Road Transport Workers, Clement Adekola, alleged that the ongoing strike was politically-motivated.
The protesters, who carried placards with various inscriptions, gathered at the popular Fajuyi Park and marched to the Ijigbo area of the state capital to mobilise support for Fayose’s government.