Workers of the Ondo State-owned Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo, have commenced an indefinite strike action over alleged unpaid salary arrears of 13 months.
This is coming after the management of the school on Monday suspended the activities of the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Polytechnics (SSANIP) and the Non Academic Staff Union (NASU) in the institution.
The workers who protested at the gate of the institution carried placards with various inscriptions such as “Pay our 13-months salary”; “Akeredolu, come to our aide”; “Ogundahunsi must go”, “Our members are suffering and dying”, amongst others, chanted solidarity songs to drive home their demand.
They vowed that they will not resume for work until their demands are met by the government.
The Chairman of the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Polytechnics of the institution, Chris Olowolade said the workers had no alternative but to protest and embark on the strike action following the insensitivity of the management of the institution and the state government to their plight.
“They have written to the council, we have written to government to no avail, we are not fighting anybody but they should pay our salary.
“The management’s proscription of ASUP, SANNIP, and NASU is illegal. They are owing us 13 months. They didn’t pay this salaries and they are not making any effort to pay the salary. Because of that, we resumed the suspected strike yesterday, immediately we sent our communique to them, they issue a letter that unions on campus have been suspended. This is nonsensical. We are not owned under the regulations of the institution.
“Government use to give us subventions which is to be added to our IGR by the management of the institution, but over three years, they said the IGR is dwindle but up till today, they don’t have solution to make sure that the IGR is increased”.
He insisted the situation has gone of control as time was no longer on their side, hence the protest and industrial action.
“The management decided to demote staff without doing anything and they promoted their allies. They also recruit their families through backdoor, no advertisement, no interview. This is another illegality. Their actions were challenged in the court. Their is a judgement to that effect, but they didn’t obey the court judgement”.
Olowolade said the management’s actions attest to its inefficiency and that of the council, while calling for their removal with immediate effect.
Also, the Chairman of Non-Academic Staff Union of the institution, Adebayo Obayoriade said the union have used every means at its disposal to resolve the impasse, but to no avail as the other party was not responding positively.