Ondo State House of Assembly on Wednesday appealed to striking civil servants in the state to allow fresh negotiation to end the industrial action.

The Speaker of the house, Hon. Jumoke Akindele, said this in Akure on Wednesday during the meeting between the labour leaders and lawmakers.

Princess Jumoke Akindele
Princess Jumoke Akindele

The speaker noted that the house was aware of the travails of the workers for non-payment of five months salaries.

“We are deeply concerned by the situation on ground but we should look for ways out of the ugly situation and forge ahead,”  she said.

Akindele, who asked the labour leaders to expatiate their grievances, said that the house would come out with resolutions on the industrial matter.

She, therefore, promised to report to the executive arm of government on all the issues raised and get back to the workers soonest.

Earlier, Mr Sunday Adeleye, Chairman of Joint Negotiations Council (JNC), thanked the assembly leadership for its intervention but said that the meeting was belated.

Adeleye frowned at the protracted delay in salary payment saying that workers had no other means of providing for their families.

He added that the non-payment of the salaries had rendered the state redundant because it is a civil service state.

The JNC chairman asked the state government to halt all capital projects and pay workers` salaries.

“No matter the capital projects, they will not put food on tables of workers and what we are asking for is reward for service rendered.”

“I must inform you that there is a high level of hunger in our society and if we are not careful, there may be civil uprising which will not be palatable,”  Adeleye said.

Similarly, Mr Sola Ekundayo, the Chairman of Trade Union Congress (TUC) in Ondo State, decried the 15 days duration of the industrial action.

“There is level of insanity already in us because today makes it 15 days of this strike, which is the longest in the state.”

“People are hungry and it is said that a hungry man is an angry man and an angry man is a mad man.”

“We demand at least payment of three months salaries or else, we may go haywire,” Ekundayo stated.

Mrs Bosede Daramola, State Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress, said it was disheartening that the house could not respond to series of letters written to it.

Daramola noted that some states were still paying their workers despite the prevailing economic challenges, saying that Ondo State should not be an exception.

The NlC chairman, who urged the state government to attend to workers’ plight, disclosing that 23 workers and 12 pensioners lost their lives in recent time.

She said that workers are the brain box who are driving government to function as expected, pointing out that they were not deserved to be punished.