There was a drama at this year’s May Day celebration in Ekiti State on Monday when workers demanded payment of their salaries.
The state workers are owed six months arrears while local government employees have not been paid for seven months.
The workers shouted “salary! salary!! salary!!!” as Fayose was rounding off his address.
Some of them shouted: “Osoko, we are hungry.”
But Fayose replied: “I can only pay your salaries when I get cash backing from Abuja. At times, we get cash backing three weeks after we held FAAC meetings.”
The governor’s explanation dampened the morale of many of the workers who had expected a favourable answer from him.
This year’s Workers Day which took place inside the main bowl of Oluyemi Kayode Stadium in Ado Ekiti recorded poor attendance as many workers stayed away from the event.
The leadership of the state chapters of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and Joint Negotiating Council (JNC) decorated Fayose as “Comrade Governor.”
Fayose declared that the representative of the Minister of Labour should not be allowed to address Ekiti workers in 2018 Workers’ Day.
He predicated his position on the alleged failure of the Federal Government to redirect the country’s economy to jack up allocations to the state.
The governor said only the Head of Service, Gbenga Faseluka and state labour leaders would be allowed to address the rally, saying the federal government lacks the moral right to address the state workers for failing to fulfil its obligations.
The state NLC Chairman, Ade Adesanmi, urged Fayose to pay their outstanding salaries, saying “the non-payment has come to a point where we have to open up, in fact, we are hungry.”
The NLC chief urged the governor to expedite action on workers’ promotion and ensure payment of pension and gratuities.