The hope of Ondo State workers receiving part of the five months salaries owed them by the state government was dashed on Tuesday as Governor Olusegun Mimiko said there is no money to pay them.
Mimiko, who met with the workers from level 1 to 17 at DOME Centre in Akure, the state capital, said the government only has N3.4billion in account.
He informed them that the salary wage bill is N3.9billion per month, saying the action of the workers in embarking on strike has worsened the matter as the internal generated revenue which is about N500million has reduced to zero.
The workers, for the past three weeks, had embarked on the industrial action to press home their demand for the payment of their salaries.
Mimiko explained to them that only local government workers and primary schools could be paid a month salary.
The governor said their salaries would cost N2.7billion, remaining N700million out of the N3.4billion.
Despite pleas at the meeting by some workers who spoke in favour of the governor for the strike to be ended, the aggrieved workers shouted them down.
Mimiko appealed to the workers to end the strike, saying their action had yielded no productive gain to them and the government.
He also urged the workers to remember the beautiful days when workers are being paid 13 months salaries in a year, stressing that you will only know your friend during trial moment
The governor said the government had lost revenue of about N500million to the strike so far.
His words, “strike action is a legal weapon in the hand of labour more in democracy but strike action should not lead to irreservable damage in our state.
“I felt sad that hospitals have not been working. I’m sad that many souls that should have been saved if hospitals are working are being lost.
“In the last one year, the totality of what we earn is being used to pay salaries.
“I have had to go and borrow for capital projects. In terms of being fateful to workers emolument, we are one of the few states that are fateful and that is why we are called labour state.
“We are not the worst state in this business and I have never taken your welfare for granted.
“There is no formula with the present economy situation that can pay your salaries as at when due.
“N3.4billion is waiting to be pumped into the economy through you. N2.7 for local governments workers and primary school teachers and N700million for who ever you said we should pay”.
However, the workers insisted that they would not call off the strike.
The Joint Negotiating Council (JNC) Chairman, Comrade Sunday Adeyele said the governor is not putting anything on the table to negotiate on.
He encouraged the workers to continue speaking with one voice.
There’s no money to pay workers – Gov Mimiko
Reviewed by Link Naija