The Joint Labour Unions in Osun on Wednesday blocked the entrance to the State Secretariat in Abere, Osogbo, preventing workers from going into their offices, to enforce the indefinite strike earlier announced on Friday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the union leaders and some of their members arrived at the secretariat as early as 6 a.m. to ensure that no worker resumed work.
Speaking to newsmen at the gate of the secretariat, the Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Osun, Mr Jacob Adekomi, said the call for a strike was beyond payment of full salaries alone.
Adekomi said, “Workers on levels one to seven had not been promoted since 2012. Those promoted temporarily had not been confirmed and the civil service rules say after two years of appointment, you have to be confirmed.
“Conversion of appointment and promotion advancement had not been given to the workers and these among others are the things we are fighting for,” he said.
He said the workers were told that promotion was a privilege and not a right, and that they would use the strike to fight for their right which the government had tagged a privilege.
“Let our people be promoted, confirmed, given advancement and what they need and let pensioners be paid and full salaries paid to workers, these are our demands from the state government,” Adekomi said.
Also, the Osun Trade Union Congress Chairman, Mr Adekola Adebowale, said at the last meeting held with the Gov. Rauf Aregbesola, he told them their demands were privileges and not a right.
He said the unions and workers would now be using the strike to demand for their right which the governor referred to as a privilege.
He said the unions had taken measures to ensure that their action was not hijacked by anybody or group outside the civil service and that the committee on security was taking care of that.
He said the union leaders were all over the state, making sure no worker resumed and that all the health centres, courts, local government secretariats and other institutions were all being shut down by the union.
Adekomi, while addressing some members, said he had been called for a meeting by the state government, adding that he would update his members on its outcome.
He thanked the members for their understanding, and said the struggle would continue tomorrow as payment of salaries and promotion of workers were paramount demands of their struggle.
He instructed workers on levels one to seven not to resume work as directed by the state government, saying until otherwise directed by the labour unions, they should stay away from work.
He directed the workers to be orderly, not to destroy government property, beat or attack anybody as the struggle continued.
NAN reports that security agents, comprising the Police, DSS and Civil Defence personnel were seen around to ensure there was no breakdown of law and order. (NAN)