The striking workers in Ogun State have said they are not scared of being arrested and detained by the state government over the ongoing strike.
The Chairman of the state chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Akeem Ambali, said this on Wednesday during a mega rally held by the workers at the NLC secretariat on Abiola Way, Abeokuta.
Ambali said the workers would march to the state secretariat at Oke Mosan on Monday for another “peaceful mega rally”, adding that they would not be deterred by the presence of law enforcement agents.
He said, “On Monday, all of us will march to Oke Mosan, if he (the governor) likes, let him bring one million police or soldiers. If he arrests us today, we are ready to go to cell, we are not afraid of detention.
“The opening of registers is illegal. The Secretary to the State Government has not called us for dialogue. The government should have the political will to invite us. If they invite us today, we are going to dialogue with them.
“We will not allow what is happening to workers in Osun and Oyo states to happen in Ogun State.”
The state Chairman of the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council, Abiodun Olakanmi, described the ‘no work, no pay’ threat from the government as a fallacy, arguing that it should be the reverse, ‘no pay, no work.’
He said it was not as if the workers were asking for salary increase, but were only demanding the unremitted deductions made from their salary.
He said, “We are not asking for any addition to our salary, all we are asking is for the government to pay the unremitted deductions made from our salary.”
Olakanmi said the workers would continue to meet every Monday to review the strike action and develop new strategies.
The state chairman, Nigeria Union of Teachers, Dare Ilekoya, said some teachers could no longer pay their children’s school fees because they were being owed salary deductions.
He said, “How do you expect such teachers to work in their schools?”
The state President, Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools, Akeem Lasisi, also appealed to the state government to pay the workers the deductions made from their salary to enable them to meet their financial obligations.
The state Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council had ordered the workers to proceed on an indefinite strike last Monday because of the failure of the government to honour its promise on January 25, 2016, to pay the deductions.