Ekiti salary crisis: NLC, TUC impose 10-year ban on two Labour leaders
…Unions remain dissolved,’ says banned officials
Crisis rocking the Labour movement in Ekiti State deepened on Monday as the state councils of the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress (TUC) imposed a ten-year ban on immediate past chairmen, Mr. Ayodeji Aluko and Mr. Kolawole Olaiya, from trade unionism.
The ten-year ban was imposed on the duo for leading a protest and shutdown of the State Secretariat last Thursday in protest against the arrears of salaries owed workers by the state government.
Acting on the auspices of Ekiti Workers Rescue Team, Aluko, Olaiya and other labour leaders declared an indefinite strike and passed a resolution dissolving NLC and TUC executives led by Mr. Ade Adesanmi and Mr. Odunayo Adesoye respectively.
Rising from an emergency congress held at Labour House, Ado-Ekiti on Monday and attended by affiliate unions, the union leaders insisted that Aluko and Olaiya lacked powers to declare strike and dissolve excos of the unions having finished their terms.
Addressing reporters at the end of the congress, NLC Chairman, Adesanmi, urged security agencies to call Aluko and Olaiya to order accusing the duo of working as agents of destabilization.
Adesanmi said: “The illegal activities of the aforementioned ex-labour leaders acting under the guise of Ekiti Workers Rescue Team came to a climax on Thursday, August 23 when they gathered thugs and molested workers who were carrying out their legitimate and lawful duties.
“There is need to ask them whose interest were they protecting, because they didn’t act when workers were owed over eight month salaries. They have never engaged the government to pay pensioners but they only woke up after the July 14 governorship election.
“Sometimes ago, an administrative panel was set up by the outgoing government of Governor Ayodele Fayose against Comrade Aluko and found him guilty of participating in electioneering in 2015, which was against public service rule. It was the same unions that intervened and ensured that he was pardoned.
“It is no more news that Comrade Aluko was promoted to the position of Director of Administration at the local government ahead of his seniors and the government looked at this and reverted him to the rightful position. It was clear that this ex-labour leader is aggrieved. But must he hide under non-payment of salary to get at the government?
“How could labour leaders gathered thugs and pronounced the entire labour structure dissolved. Were they State Executive Council of the labour unions? The two of them are not members of SEC, where now did they derive such powers.
“With their actions of recent, it is clear that they were only clearing coast for political appointments from the incoming government and not fighting the interest of workers.
“Following these, they are declared persona non grata in labour circle and they are banned from labour activities for a period of ten years”, he said.
Reacting to the ban, Aluko maintained that Adesanmi and Adesoye have been proscribed from acting in their positions by workers, having failed to fight for the rights of those that voted them into their respective offices.
Aluko said Adesoye’s tenure as TUC chairman had lapsed in July, saying he lacked the locus standi to preside over a meeting where any member will be suspended or barred.
He said: “Can any labour leaders who has been described a persona non grata by the entire workforce preside over a meeting and suspend any member?
“Two, is the fact that the two labour leaders (Adesanmi and Adesoye) have lost their values. They are enjoying the support of the government, so they can decide to take illegal actions pending the time another government will ascend the throne.
“But let me say this, workers will send them out of the secretariats by the time this government leaves. TUC Chairman had served out his term, while that of NLC will end in February.
“I want to assure Adesanmi that he will be the first NLC chairman that won’t complete his term in Ekiti. What he is doing is anti-labour and he shall pay dearly for it.”