Oyo workers begin indefinite strike

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    AjimobiThe national headquarters of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in conjunction with its Oyo state chapter on Monday ordered workers in the state to begin an indefinite strike on Tuesday.

    Solomon Adelegan, national vice-chairman of the NLC, gave the directive after a congress held at the labour secretariat in Ibadan, the state capital.

    Adelegan said the strike action would continue until labour’s demands were met.

    Among demands listed are the withdrawal of all charges levelled against seven NLC leaders by the police, and the reversal of the decision of Abiola Ajimobi, governor of the state, to hand over government schools to missionaries.

    Labour also said government should immediately pay workers and pensioners their six months outstanding salaries and pensions, while rescinding its decision to sell-off any public school in the state.

    Also on the demand list is proper and adequate funding of the education sector, including payment of a living wage and other incentives for workers in educational institutions.

    “We condemn Oyo State government’s plan to sell our public schools. Education is not a commodity but a social responsibility of the government,” Labour said in a statement.

    “I think it will be better for the state government to sell the Government Secretariat and Government House.

    “It is also unfortunate that the state government owes workers more than six months salaries.

    “In the light of all these, we order that all government activities as from Tuesday should be grounded through a “sit-at-home’’ action,’’ he said.

    He added that all former correspondences and agreements signed with the state government had became null and void.

    Waheed Olojede, the state NLC chairman, and six other labour leaders were arraigned for organising a protest against government’s perceived move to hand over mission schools to their original owners.

    The labour leaders were arrested and detained by the police on Thursday.

    Although they were granted bail, they were to be remanded at Agodi prison until they could meet their bail conditions.

    But speaking after his release on Monday, Olojede said the campaign against the state government was in line with the fact that education was a social responsibility of government.

    Olojede cautioned prospective beneficiaries of the school initiative not to “waste their money”, calling on traders to join in the campaign.

    Olojede also urged workers in the state to comply with the sit-at-home order. -Nigerianeye