Paris Club Refund: “You Are Not Speaking for Us,” Ondo Workers Tell Union leaders

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Against the backdrop of the controversies surrounding the recent payment of September 2016 workers' salary arrears in Ondo state, civil servants in the state seem to be on a war path with their union leaders over the payment. 

It was reliably gathered that, feelers within their ranks indicate that workers in the state's workforce have distanced themselves from the recent activities of the union leaders over the payment of 80 percent of the September 2016 salary arrears.

Investigations revealed that the workers have been circulating text messages showing total displeasure over recent actions by the union leader and asking colleagues to ignore the leaders and their proposed movement.

Some of the messages read: "ONDO WORKERS SHINE YOUR EYES! Don't allow greedy union leaders to use you to fester their nest."

"Iroko owed us many months and they did not strike because he settled them, you are not speaking for us."

"Aketi has not owed us since he assumed office. The 80% paid as September 2016 salary was due to cash deficit and he informed the union leaders."

"He will pay workers their right due. Construction and rehabilitation of road network is ongoing state-wide. Aketi is working to take Ondo State to next level."

A message from a sender with the name "OSWP" read "Say no to strike action! Say no to selfish union leaders!! Let us join hands to build Ondo State!!! Kindly inform others." 

A Grade level 10 civil servant, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the leaders are not representing the interest of the Union, urging the state government not to take the union leaders serious as the Union is not in support of most of the actions carried out by the leaders against the payment.

He further explained that the union leaders have been bought and the workers in the state repose no confidence in their leadership, adding that the workers have decided to ignore any instruction given by the union leaders to embark on a strike.

"They have exchanged their birthrights for pots of porridge during the last administration immediately they openly declared for Mimiko during the 2012 governorship election in the state.

"We know them very well, some of them are living larger than their salaries. I know a level eight officer who is one of the union leaders who has been buying cars for his girlfriends. He should explain to us where he got such money from.

"What they want is the continuation of how they are benefiting from previous administration's largesse. They are toothless dogs, they cannot bites. We workers are not behind them"

It would be recalled that the labour leaders in the state earlier described the 80 percent of the September 2016 salaries remitted into the state workers' account from the second tranche of the Paris Club Refund received by the state government as a "gift" and announced the rejection of the fractional salary payment. 

The September 2016 salary was part of the six month salaries owed by the previous administration led by Dr. Olusegun Mimiko until his handing over which is being paid by the present administration of Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu.

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