Kogi State labour leaders have told their members across the state to brace up for harder times ahead following the 10 day-old strike action.
The leaders also vowed not to call off the strike unless the state government addressed their demands.
Labour also called on the state government to stop its media propaganda and rather open the door for negotiations to resolve the industrial impasse.
The labour movement made this known yesterday in its bulletin 17 signed by Secretaries of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC; Trade Union Congress, TUC, and Joint Public Service National Council, JPNDC, Ilakunle Faniyi, Kolawole James and Abubakar, respectively, entitled On Our Demands We Stand; Strike Continues Indefinitely.
“More hard times lie ahead because this government had vehemently refused to open the door of negotiation with organised labour.
“Therefore, be prepared for worst because in the state broadcast to mark 57th independence anniversary, government has not seen any reason to open dialogue with organised labour over the catalogue of workers’ demands that led to the ongoing strike action.
“For the umpteenth time, we are calling on government whose responsibility it is to initiate or open door of dialogue because it is the only approach to resolving disputes amicably for the state to move forward.
“There is a saying of our elders that ‘It takes only one day for truth to overtake falsehood of over two hundred years’. That is exactly what is playing out in our current struggle.
“All the efforts of the combined team of Government appointees and permanent secretaries have not been able to suppress the truth of the abysmal condition of workers in Kogi State under this administration.
“It has not suppressed the truth that workers in Kogi State are distressed, it has not suppressed the truth that civil service in Kogi State has been condemned to the wheel chair. It has not suppressed the truth that LG administration has been knocked down and put on a stretcher. It has not suppressed the truth that some top civil servants have not been cleared and paid for several months.
“Workers would not say all is well when it is not, neither would they say it is not well when it is well. For now it is not well and we are standing to say with all boldness that it is not,” the statement read.
Labour directed members to continue to stay away from work and be law abiding.
They appealed to government to tow the line of dialogue as a sine-qua-non to resolving the industrial dispute so that the state can make progress.
Meanwhile, the state government reinstated its commitment to the welfare of workers, asking for their cooperation.
Governor Yahaya Bello, who stated this in a state wide broadcast, said: “At this stage in our public service and pension reforms, we have a duty to pay more attention to the law, including the Public Service Rules as well as the sustainability of the reforms we are putting in place.
“The whims and caprices of vested interests cannot, therefore, be admitted to determine our responses in any way.”