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In Oyo Govt begins negotiation with labour 48 hours after strike threat

Organised labour had on Tuesday issued a seven-day ultimatum to the state government to pay the outstanding salaries or risk the industrial peace in the state.

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The Oyo State Government and labour on Thursday, March 31, over workers' unpaid salaries.

Organised labour had on Tuesday issued a seven-day ultimatum to the state government to pay the outstanding salaries or risk the industrial peace in the state.

The Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress(NLC) in Oyo State, Mr Waheed Olojede disclosed this to newsmen in Ibadan after a meeting between the state government and labour which lasted almost three hours.

The State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi had ordered that a meeting with the labour unions be held on Thursday to address the issue.

"We are happy today that the entire labour movement in the state was invited for dialogue which we started around 3p.m.

"We rose from the meeting now on the understanding by the two parties that now that the negotiation has commenced, the negotiation will run within a short period.

"The negotiation is expected to conclude on how to address the irregularities in the payment of outstanding pension and salaries, " Olojede said.

Olojede expressed the hope that government would within a short time invite labour for another meeting, adding that this should be seen as an opportunity that will end the crisis.

He urged workers in the state to remain calm and follow the negotiation process, assuring them that they will not be let down.

"We will continue as leaders of workers in the state to fight for their welfare and industrial interest. This is our commitment.

"This is our responsibility and this we shall pursue to a logical conclusion,’’ he said.

He appealed to the government to ensure that within the next one week, all negotiations are completed so that the existing industrial peace in the state will be sustained.

Olojede, however, said that the earlier agreement on the use of 90 percent of the allocation to pay workers has become obsolete and must be reviewed to meet the prevailing circumstances.

"To us, what is coming from Abuja as allocation kept on dwindling and the 90 percent is no more relevant. That is why there must be a review," he said.

Also speaking on the development, Mr Yomi Layinka, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Communication and Strategy, bemoaned the action of labour for portraying government as insensitive.

He said labour breached the procedures of industrial relations by issuing a strike threat when the government had not reneged on an earlier agreement with the body.

"The labour unions goofed in their action because government had not in any way breached the agreement it had with labour.

"The labour unions had apologised for the action and we have conveyed their apology to the governor after the meeting," he told NAN.

Layinka said that the governor has instructed that the agreement of government with the unions be strictly adhered to as negotiations resumed.

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