Activities were paralysed at the Oyo State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Inclusion and some government agencies, including Water Corporation due to an indefinite strike embarked on by workers of the corporation.
Oyo State Signage and Advertisement Agency (OYSAA) was also affected by the strike as along with the others mentioned, they share the same building with the state Water Corporation, whose workers began the indefinite strike on Thursday.
The Water Building was locked by the striking workers and no one was allowed to go in or out.
Workers of the Water Corporation, under the aegis of Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE), embarked on the strike following the failure of the government to pay the six months deductions owed to them by the Governor Seyi Makinde led-administration.
The union had on January 20, 2021, given the Makinde administration a 72-hour ultimatum to pay the outstanding deductions and address the issue of shortage of workers, among others.
The union demanded a prompt payment of outstanding deductions, increment in monthly subvention, supply of chemicals to the corporation, recruitment of workers, and appointment of a substantive general manager for the organisation, among other demands.
The letter reads in part: “I bring to Your Excellency fraternal greetings from the state leadership of the above-named union and to inform Your Excellency that after a series of meetings with the management of Water Corporation and government representatives without finding lasting solutions to our demands, the union is left with no other option but to issue this letter on the above subject matter.
“Aside from the outstanding deductions, the union also demanded the payment of check-up bonus, leave bonus, car loan deductions, and housing loan deductions. Others are increment in monthly subvention, availability of chemicals, recruitment of more workers for the corporation, and the appointment of a substantive general manager.
Following the expiration of the 72-hour ultimatum, the union commenced the strike, locking the Water Building, which houses several other state agencies, while also blocking the feeder roads leading to the building.
Leading the protest, the AUPCTRE Secretary, who doubles as the state’s Nigeria Labour Congress Secretary, Ibrahim Mohammed, said the strike would be indefinite, adding that the union had exploited all options to resolve the matter amicably to no avail.
He said: “It is an indefinite strike. We have exploited all available options but the government is not forthcoming. The government failed to respond to our calls. They owe us arrears of up to seven months.”
Speaking of the Water Building that was locked, preventing workers of some other departments and agencies from also working, Mohammed said: “It is the Water Building, and it belongs to us. The Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Inclusion, Local Government Service Commission, Oyo State Signage and Advertisement Agency (OYSAA) are all tenants.”
As at the time of filing this report, no government official had addressed them.