The workers who spoke through the leaders of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Joint Negotiation Council (JNC), among others lauded the governor for acceding to the demands of the workers without stress.
Led by Chairman of the JNC, Comrade Bayo Adejumo and TUC Chairman, Comrade Adebowale Adekola, the workers said they understood and felt the pains of the governor on his inability to pay full salary owing to the financial predicament of the state.
The labour leaders spoke at the Interdenominational Prayer organized by the state government for year 2018.
According to the workers, the recent industrial dispute in the state was not as a result of opposition to the Aregbesola’s administration but to ensure that the workers’ interest was protected and secured before and after the governor’s tenure.
The workers stated that Aregbesola has demonstrated good gesture as a workers friendly governor with some of his welfare packages for the workers, recalling that he was the first governor to pay 13 month salary to the workers in the state.
The labour leaders said: “We want to commend Governor Rauf Aregbesola for the harmonious relationship between the labour and the state government.
“Aregbesola is the first governor in the history of the state to pay 13 month salary to workers when the state was financially okay. He increased the workers car loan, without demand, from N250, 000 to about N1million. There are many good packages the governor provided for the workers without asking.
Before the state ran into financial problem, he paid salary on or before 24 of every month. We understood the governor’s predicament, and we are in support of his government. The last labour dispute was not because we want to fight the governor but just to secure the interest of the workers.
“The industrial dispute is because of what happened in Ondo State where Governor Rotimi Akeredolu said he did not owe the workers who were owed several months salary by previous administration. We don’t want our case to be like that in Osun; that is why put up our demands.
“We commend the governor for granting the request of the workers in the shortest time, despite the financial quagmire of the state.”
Responding, Aregbesola commended the workers for their supports, sacrifice and understanding, saying that he was unhappy not being able to pay salary regularly.
Aregbesola urged the workers not to abuse the right to protest by forcing other workers who are not being owed and those that are not supposed to go on strike out of their offices.
He maintained that the financial crisis was responsible for the inability of the government to buy official vehicles for the Commissioners, Special Advisers and members of the House of Assembly.
The governor said there was end in sight for the paucity of fund in the state, describing 2018 as a year of breakthrough.