Workers in Kwara State public service on Tuesday commenced an industrial action to press home their demand for the implementation of the N30,000 minimum wage by the government as labour leaders denied receiving any court injunction.
Though the state government on Monday said it had secured an injunction from the National Industrial Court restraining the workers from going on strike, civil servants in the state shunned their offices to comply with the directive of the organized labour in the state.
It was observed that the gates of some government offices, ministries, courtrooms and schools were locked and the areas deserted.
Teachers in many public schools also asked pupils and students to go back home as schools were locked while students were seen roaming the streets.
Chairman of the NLC in the state, Mr. Issa-Ore, while expressing satisfaction with the level of compliance by the workers, told our correspondent that the labour leaders received no court injunction on the strike.
“We have not received any court injunction from anyone that we should not go on strike to fight for the implementation of the minimum wage which has become a law in the country,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, on Tuesday appealed to the workers to understand the financial situation in the state, saying the state’s treasury was too lean to accommodate the demands of the labour unions.
The governor was said to have said this when he visited the dilapidated Banni Community Secondary School in Ilorin.
AbdulRazaq, in a statement by Rafiu Ajakaye, his Chief Press Secretary, said, “If we accede to the request of the labour, we will not be able to do any other thing other than paying workers. Our schools have collapsed; the basic health facilities need to be fixed, and we need to do much more for the rest of the population too.
“We want to pay the minimum wage. Where we disagree with the labour is a consequential adjustment that they are asking for. It will mean we cannot do any other thing outside the salary payment.
“There is a court injunction and as far as the government is concerned there is no strike. Everybody should report to work. We will work on how to improve facilities in our state as much as we will pay the salary of our workers,” he said.