The Ondo State branch of the Trade Union Congress, TUC, has vowed to resist any attempt by the state government to divert funds approved as bailout to states by the Federal Government, to other uses aside the payment of workers’ salaries.
In a statement on Monday signed by its Chairman, Sola Ekundayo and Secretary, Fatuase Clement, the congress said the current hardships faced by workers in the state warranted that all funds accruing to the state in form of bailout or statutory allocations be channeled to liquidating salaries owed workers.
The statement said, “In view of the present economic hardship facing workers of Ondo State, Trade Union Congress is hereby imploring the state government to ensure that henceforth any money that accrues to the state by way of allocation, bailout, IGR etc., should be directed towards the payment of arrears of salaries of workers.
“The Congress will not tolerate diversion of such funds into any capital project. We are not against embarking on capital projects but our welfare must first and foremost be taken care of in terms of salaries and allowances. This is what can guarantee industrial peace and harmony in the state.
“TUC is hereby asking the state government to do the needful in order to ameliorate the suffering of the entire workforce of Ondo State.
“We are also using this medium to ask workers to remain calm and steadfast in their duties as the Congress is seriously monitoring the accounts of the state government with an eagle eye”.
The Ondo State government is expecting its share of the $2.1billion funds from the Nigeria Liquefied National Gas account approved by the Federal Government last week as bailout for states currently facing backlog of unpaid salaries.
The statement issued by the TUC confirms the apprehension among workers in the state that the state government was preparing to use the funds to fast track some of its hitherto abandoned capital projects as a result of paucity of funds.